This film will be some actor’s directorial debut and it will be controversial, but more than that, it wont be good. It will be about the church.
We open on a man and woman having graphic sex in a confessional booth. You already know the type of movie you are for. Father Leary is new to the priesthood, but hasn’t taken his vows seriously. He’s a hotshot young priest in 1970’s boston. He’s a die-hard Celtics/Sox/Bruins fan and smokes cigarettes regularly. A monologue of Father Leary giving an impassioned sermon begins as scenes begin to unfold showing Leary gambling, fornicating with women in teh confessional booth, and taking money from the collection. We see he takes the collection money and buys himself a pack of cigarettes. As he leaves, he sees a homeless person and tosses him $10 bucks, saying keep the change.
The next scene is Leary at home with his family. He comes from a family of criminals and deviants, and he’s considered the one who got out. All of his brothers are scumbags, and his father is in jail. His mother is tough (think Melissa Leo in The Fighter). His mother asks him when is he gonna quit with the priesthood and give her a grandchild. All the other kids will be lucky to find a woman much-less have a child with one. He says his life belongs to th lord. You can tell she sees right through what he’s saying.
The Cardinal of Boston comes to Leary’s church one day right after Leary finishes having sex with some sad housewife. Imagine he’s played by Brendan Gleeson. He tells Leary that the other priest think he’s a joke, and if he doesn’t get himself together he’s going to be excommunicated. Leary tells him to go fuck himself. That he’s been working in the highest crime district in the nation. That trying to save these souls is pointless. That what the church claims to defend is pointless. He’s got an early oscarbait moment where he tells the Cardinal he knows about what happened to those boys last summer. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. If he loses his priesthood, he’ll blow the whole situation out of the water. The Cardinal tells him to be careful about his threats. Leary tells the Cardinal the same and he leaves.
Later that evening after some more carousing, he goes to buy a pack of smokes and sees that same homeless person from a day ago. He notices the person looks familar and realizes its one of the same kids that was molested a year back. He tells the kid, named Charlie, he’s not like the other priests who gang-molested him. He’s into women. Leary brings Charlie back to his home. Here Charlie tells him that after it happened, no one would believe him and his extremely devout parents kicked him out on the street. He’s been there ever since. All he ever wanted to do was be a good altar boy, and he was, until it all went bad. Leary tells him he can stay until he gets himself together. Charlie asks Leary to help tell his story. Leary tells him he can’t, he’ll lose everything if he does (somehow). Charlie accepts this momentarily.
As the movie continues we see that Charlie’s influence around Leary starts to turn him into a better person. He begins only having sex with one woman and he realizes he might love her. During a sermon one day he says he loves someone above all else, and right as the congregation says “Jesus” he says “Mary” and he says she’s made him a better person, Charlie’s made him a better person, and sure God has helped too, but what he’s learned is that sometimes god doesn’t answer prayers. He goes into explaining how Charlie was molested and how the church did nothing. How they failed him. How he failed him. Of course the Cardinal was at this service and begins casting Leary out as a heretic, but he says it’s all true, and that’s why he’s stepping down.
The next scene we see Charlie and Leary have pooled their resources and opened a home for boys and Leary is no longer a priest, but married to Mary. Charlie asks Leary one night, if he regrets what he did (a flashback of all the sex and weird stuff Leary used to do quickly comes across the screen) and Leary, a bit older now says, “Do I regret it?”