Cinema: The Miracle of Father Stu

Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson's latest film tells the incredible story of Father Long and his journey from the ring to the wheelchair.

Patricio Sánchez-Jáuregui-June 18, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

Still from the film. © Sony Pictures

Direction and screenplay: Rosalind Ross
United States 2022

Rarely can we see a film with a religious -or spiritual- theme that does not skate when it comes to promoting its particular cause in a way that is disrespectful to the viewer. It proclaims this one with the stick and baton of an omnipresent sentimentality and drowns any reasoning with cloying. Father stu, o Father Stu's miracletranslated into Spanish, is different.

Emerging from an asteroid field of mixed reviews (some of them belligerently rabid), the more than respectable debut of its director, Rosalind Ross, arrives on our screens: a film that contributes, whose vision of suffering is not one of evasion, but of encounter, and which can produce
The film is a little flicker in the brain of a viewer whose problems are solved with pills, the weekend as a vital purpose and living it all among hashtags. We must make an exercise to leave prejudices -and hashtags- out and enjoy the simplicity of the story and the possibility that it is, as it is,
based on a real event, which makes everything more controversial -and relevant-.

Mark Wahlberg is Stu, a man whose aspirations go no further than survival and, after boxing and jail, decides to try his luck in the city of Los Angeles as an actor. Exuding confidence and self-destruction, he will try to make his way in a life he never trusted. This is how he meets Carmen (Teresa Cruz), a devout parishioner who will kick-start a process of conversion. This will go beyond their relationship and will put him at the doors of the seminary, with its more or less funny problems and clashes.

However, everything takes a more dramatic step when he is diagnosed with a degenerative muscle disease. It is then that the journey towards death but also redemption truly begins. Avoiding the whining, underpinned by the carefree attitude of the protagonist, and with two great supporting actors (always huge Mel Gibson and the eternally tender Jacki Weaver), plus a tertiary who is always a pleasure to watch (Malcolm McDowell). We have in our hands a conveyor belt, tribute, that avoids the conventions of sanctity and tells a true story with simplicity, agile script, awake and unpretentiousness. A stimulating, correct and pleasant work, which lets the emotions breathe and whose dialogues often arouse laughter in the theater. A personal project of Wahlberg himself that is easy to get attached to.

The authorPatricio Sánchez-Jáuregui

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