Picks and Pans Review: The Miracle

updated 07/01/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/01/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Beverly D'Angelo, Niall Byrne

It's hard to see the point of this movie, set in Ireland and directed by Neil (Mona Lisa) Jordan, unless it's to offer a forum for about 187 renditions of "Stardust."

The most pleasing of them is sung during a party by D'Angelo, an American actress performing in a play in Dublin. Her mysterious visits to the beach in a nearby village beguile young Byrne, who courts her in between arguments with his musician father, Donal (The Dead) McCann.

There are enigmatic scenes involving caged animals, nuns, an old couple and incest, an idea pursued past the point of being a mere quirk. Jordan's script tends to the cryptic too. Byrne says, "I'm missing something. But I don't know what it is. If you're missing something, you should know what it is." Later, he expands on this idea: "I knew, but I didn't know I knew."

Byrne's pursuit of D'Angelo and his friendship with Lorraine Pilkington, a girl his own teen age, often take place in dim places, which suits the mood.

You'll end up, anyway, knowing the opening lines to "Stardust": "Sometimes I wonder why...." (Unrated)

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