Make a religious pilgrimage to your nearest cinema: Father Stu is screening in Australian theatres right now.
Produced by good Christian Mel Gibson and directed by his girlfriend and first-time feature director Rosalind Ross, this heartwarming true story stars Mark Wahlberg as a foul-mouthed boxer turned Catholic priest. With a retro moustache dangling above his black-and-white robes, Stu is an improbable figure in the seminary, especially after serving time in jail.
But even more troubling obstacles are ahead for Stu, who is diagnosed with inclusion body myositis whilst studying to be a minister. It’s a wild arc with many twists and turns, made all the more wild by the fact that it’s all based on the life of the real Stuart Long, who passed away as a local religious legend in 2014.
Parishioners at the church of Stu and his girlfriend Carmen (Teresa Ruiz) petition the Diocese of Helena to get Stu ordained, but the clock is ticking as his health deteriorates. You can see Wahlberg leaning into the physical transformation in the trailer below, having another crack at the The Fighter category of Oscar-baity performances.
Jackie Weaver and Mel Gibson appear as Stu’s embittered parents, who turned away from faith when their other son was killed at age six. There’s also a nice role for Brit Malcolm McDowell in the form of the domineering Monsignor Kelly, who will surely be won over by Stu’s unorthodox ways by the film’s tearjerking conclusion.
If you’re planning on seeing Father Stu, we honestly suggest skipping the trailer above. It’s one of those montages that gives away the entire emotional arc of the film, only leaving you a few surprising moments of black comedy to enjoy in the cinema. And if you’ve already watched it…then please forgive us, Father, for we have sinned.