Parable of the prodigal son | The Basque Journal

It produces a strange feeling watching ‘The Miracle of Father Stu’, which, deep down, ends up being very similar to those standardized productions of Christian production companies with the intention of updating their evangelizing mission with films of good feelings and families.

‘Father Stu’s Miracle’

  • Assessment
    two out of five

  • Direction and script:
    Rosalind Ross.

  • Interpreters:
    Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, Teresa Ruiz.

  • Photography:
    Jacques Jouffret.

  • Music:
    Dickon Hinchliffe.

  • Nationality:
    USA, 2022.

  • Duration:
    124 minutes.

  • Cinemas:
    Prince, Cinesa Urbil.

Yes, this one has something of the new peep cinema, but with stars: Mark Wahlberg holds the film up and down, for which he has undergone one of those drastic physical transformations that some actors sometimes do, going from the sports body of the times as the protagonist’s boxer to the bloated in his final stage, suffering from a degenerative disease. In addition, he returns to his face of bitter Mel Gibson (coincidentally, the partner of the debut director and screenwriter, Rosalind Ross). And you have to rub your eyes to see that the priest director of the seminary is Malcolm McDowell, several lifetimes after being Alex in ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

‘The Miracle…’ has a point of new Christian cinema, but with stars and also different because it postpones sermons. Before coming to the enchanted protagonist of his painful but very happy encounter with God, we have heard many curses, the protagonist’s parents have made their atheism very clear and we have seen him as a rabid boxer, an enthusiastic flirt and a disbelieving observer of the rites and customs of the Catholic religion.

None of this has much force or truth in the hands of a novice screenwriter and director, who does not resolve the great problems of religious cinema either: its risk of trivialization and the difficulty of putting images to deep experiences. Based on a real character, ‘The Miracle of Father Stu’ remains a superficial, strange and long proposal, which without the efforts of Mark Wahlberg would have been appalling.

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