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The Two Popes

Director Fernando Meirelles
Country UK, Italy, Argentina, USA
Year 2019
Rating PG
Running Time 125
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From The Booth

“It is extremely difficult to make something as invisible and ineffable as religious faith seem real, let alone touching, on film; doing that is only one of the achievements of Fernando Meirelles’ unusual look inside the papacy. In 2013, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now serving as the dogmatic Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins), is exhausted by scandals and burdened by solitude when he calls his chief rival, Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires (Jonathan Pryce), to his side. The story is told mainly from the point of view of Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, with his difficult history during the period of Argentina’s Dirty War revealed by flashbacks starring Juan Minujín. But it is the sparring between the conservative and the reformer that is the film’s gripping (and occasionally comic) centrepiece. Hopkins and Pryce’s finely tuned performances illuminate Benedict’s shrewd intelligence and Francis’s deep humility. Whether this speculative drama is true or not, the men’s arrangement to save their church is both dramatic and moving.” —Kate Taylor, the Globe and Mail. Highly Recommended.