If you have been searching for a quality family film, then I suggest you look no further than “Blue Miracle”, now playing on Netflix. The movie is based on the true story of Casa Hogar, a boys home in Mexico that was hit by Hurricane Odile in 2014. The film begins by introducing us to Omar Venegas (Jimmy Gonzales) who runs the orphanage with his wife Becca (Fernanda Urrejola). We also meet the main kids involved in the story which include the rebellious and street-pick pocket Moco (Miguel Angel Garcia), and the sweet Tweety (Steve Gutierrez), who always has an encouraging word for Omar. After the hurricane of 2014 damages the orphanage, Omar and Becca attempt to save the cash strapped home by entering a tournament called the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament, the world’s largest fishing tournament. Omar and the boys, who other than Omar have never fished, are given an anonymous donation of $5,000, the cost to enter the tournament. The tournament is being held for the first time in Cabo San Lucas, just five weeks after the aforementioned hurricane in an effort to help the local economy. Meanwhile, a ragged and washed-up boat captain named Wade (Dennis Quaid), is attempting to enter the tournament despite reluctance from a tournament director. The director finally agrees to let Wade enter the tournament if he partners with Omar and the kids. While Wade is at first furious at the prospect, he eventually comes around and agrees to partner with Omar and company. The group who catches the largest marlin will win nearly $259,000, which would certainly be more than enough to save the orphanage and keep the boys off the streets. As the tournament begins, Omar has flashbacks of a tragic boating trip with his father which results in nightmares before each trip into the ocean for the tournament. As the tournament begins, Wade has a lot of trouble with his less-than-stellar boat, and the group begins to feel their efforts may be all for naught. Omar also faces some temptation from Wade to do something very unethical in order to win the tournament. Omar, who has a great faith in God, is torn between saving the orphanage and doing what is right. Omar also doesn’t realize the one kid he has been trying to help give up his thieving ways, Moco, overhears the underhanded effort of Wade to win the contest. Thankfully, Omar does what is right, and despite feeling all is lost the group end up winning the contest and the orphanage is saved. Even though I revealed what happens, I still did not reveal how the group gets the winning marlin and who actually catches the prize winning fish. All the actors are wonderful in this film, and it also added to the enjoyment of the film knowing Casa Hogar is a real orphanage. In an interview, the real Omar Venegas said he hopes the film will raise awareness about Casa Hogar, and how God’s work is really taking place there. At the very end of the film we see the current state of the orphanage and how a section for girls has been added. The scenery in this film, especially when the boats are going to sea, is beautiful, and clearly conveys the majesty of the world’s oceans. Director Julio Quintana (“The Vessel”) does a wonderful job keeping the film grounded in reality, while avoiding too much schmaltz. “Blue Miracle” is a heartwarming film that will certainly convey to audiences that miracles still happen in our often jaded world.
Now playing on Netflix. (Rated TV-PG)