'Big Miracle' Screening: Bonnie Carroll, Arianna Huffington Talk Drew Barrymore's Fact-Based Drama
“I thought it was great and really sweet,” John Krasinski told assembled press during the "Big Miracle" junket in Los Angeles recently, “but I said to [director] Ken [Kwapis], 'It’s really good, but we’ve got to cut back some of this stuff because it’s a little unbelievable.' And he’s like, 'No, it’s all true.'" Such is the charm of "Big Miracle," an unbelievable true story about what happened to the world when a family of three grey whales became trapped in the arctic waters just outside Point Barrow, Alaska in 1988.
Based, in part, on the book "Freeing the Whales: How the Media Created the World's Greatest Non-Event" by Thomas Rose, "Miracle" focuses on a budding television reporter (Krasinski) who stumbles onto the story of his life in sleepy Point Barrow. Soon, oil company executives, his ex-girlfriend-cum-Greenpeace activist (played by Drew Barrymore), reporters from around the country and even the office of Ronald Reagan are involved in the rescue effort.
Played in the film by actress Vinessa Shaw, Bonnie Carroll was in the Reagan administration at the time of the events in "Big Miracle," and was instrumental in getting the government to provide support to save the whales. Now, Carroll is the founder of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a group that offers support for "bereaved family members and caregivers with everything from crisis intervention and grief counseling to navigating government bureaucracy"; since launching in the early '90s, TAPS has grown to support nearly 30,000 people.
"I think this film has a lesson for everyone," Carroll told Arianna Huffington at a special HuffPost Impact and HuffPost High School co-sponsored screening on Tuesday night in Manhattan.
Before the "Big Miracle" screening, Huffington also announced the Teen Impact contest, honoring kids who are making a difference; the youngster who was singled out for their good work will be made public on Friday.
"Big Miracle" is out in theaters on Friday.