Kind of a masterclass in embodying another from two great actors, who are both perfectly cast. I think the other, call it fun, piece of icing on the cake is the Papal behind the scenes. I might be alone here, but had no idea how the voting process works or the politics of it all.
the humanization of these religious characters really goes a long way - i don’t know how fictionalized the script turned out to be. But I love that there’s infighting and personality differences and drama and watching soccer games. it’s easy to make these world leaders out to be superhuman, but knowing they do other things than their “jobs” seems to be more important than ever. There’s some Big Short-esque editing and direction here that works super well too. Glad I snuck this into 2019.
I know a movie titled The Two Popes sounds like it might be interesting, maybe even important… if you could stay awake for the whole thing but “boring” is the last word I’d use to describe this biographical drama. It’s full of spice thanks to the fully-formed characters, terrific performances, sharp script, and superb direction.
In 2012, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) seeks to retire but requires the permission of Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) to do so. His letters have gone unanswered and just as he prepares to fly to Rome to confront the Pope himself, he is summoned there for an urgent matter.
What you don’t know is how many laughs the movie contains. Bergoglio and Benedict XVI have history. One might even call them rivals since both were favorites to be elected pope upon the death of John Paul II. When they meet, Benedict XVI is acting like a little kid that knows he hasn’t done his homework. He makes every possible excuse - none of them convincing - to avoid Bergoglio’s paperwork. You laugh, but it’s starting to get to you. What’s really going on?
Just as you think you’ve got this movie figured out, it pivots. Comedy (mostly) makes way for frank conversation and it’s fascinating to hear. Multiple topics of increasing depth are addressed and none of it is easy to digest. The dialogue is terrific and the deliveries spectacular. Nothing’s flashy except the ideas presented and you completely forget that you’re watching two actors playing real-life people. Through their dialogue, you get to know the men and the more complicated things become. Being there to witness what you’d normally only hear about from the news, it’s a delight.
It’s a thoroughly engrossing film, particularly when we look into Bergoglio’s past. At one point, I caught a glimpse of the remaining running time and felt disappointed. “How could everything we’ve seen so far be wrapped up neatly in just under 43 minutes?” I thought. Even if it could, I didn’t want the story to end. Even if you aren’t Catholic or you’ve been too busy to keep track of whether it was white smoke or black smoke coming out of that chimney in the Vatican, it’s a great story. The character arcs are rich, there are plenty of surprises, and just as much to think about. Director Fernando Meirelles and writer Anthony McCarten (based on his book) prove you don’t need explosions or car chases to keep the audience engaged, you just need great ideas. This movie’s full of ‘em. (On Netflix, January 26, 2020)
i know when i see it with my dad and my friend i will tell them my thoughts and correct the scenes in the movie with actual facts and they will be like “yeah but brian and roger helped make it so how could it be wrong?”
yeah but who actually wrote it?
it shows how well Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan know about Freddie? like damn…