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Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict. Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to...
This film would not have worked if not for the masterful performances of Sir Anthony Hopkins and Johnathan Pryce. Their performances carry the movie, as much of the film is based around their conversations; that being said, flash back scenes featuring a young Francis are not as enticing because we do not have Pryce or Hopkins drawing us in. Overall it’s a solid film, who knows how much of it is real, but if you view it simply as a cinematic experience, it’s quite enjoyable.
The Two Popes imagines conversations between Pope Benedict XVI and the man who would succeed him as Pope Francis, using everything that is known about their lives, public personas, and interpretation of Scripture. And it would have worked as exactly that - two very different attitudes towards the Church, and two great performances, imbued with humanity. That it also wants to be a biopic about Pope Francis is perhaps a weakness, but what we discover there is also part of any Pontiff's humanity, and if Hopkins' Benedict is a complicated, difficult figure, Pryce's Francis perhaps depends on those flashbacks to complexify him, because he's so modern and approachable…knowable. The film is surprisingly funny, juxtaposing an austere role with the mundane quirks and interests any person might have, whether or not they are a mouthpiece for God on Earth, and of course playing out as a theological Odd Couple, one Pontiff so disconnected from his flock, he has only the most tenuous hold on pop culture, while the other hums ABBA and uses public transit. The peek into the rituals and politics of a Pope's election are also appreciated. And while the shots released promotionally all seem to be very symmetrical and posed, director Fernando Meirelles actually keeps things hand-held and voyeuristic, much closer to his City of God than I first assumed. As a French Canadian of my age, Catholicism was an integral part of my upbringing, and like most French Canadians my age, I've abandoned the Church. But I still respond to theological discussion, especially as it relates to such things as progressive thought, and (my interest in Bergman shows) God's silence. But is God really silent if he speaks through your fitbit and you don't listen?
Tour the force acting by two legends.
Very interesting story and well made
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