THE TWO POPES (12)
D: Fernando Meirelles
Netflix (Dan Lin, Jonathan Eirich & Tracey Seaward)
UK/US/Argentina/Italy/Vatican City 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇦🇷 🇮🇹 🇻🇦 2019
W: Anthony McCarten [based on his play "The Pope"]
DP: Cesar Charlone
Ed: Fernando Stutz
Mus: Bryce Dessner
Jonathan Pryce (Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio / Pope Francis), Anthony Hopkins (Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI), Sidney Cole (Cardinal Peter Turkson), Maria Ucedo (Esther Ballestrino), Lisandro Fiks (Father Franz Jalics)
Anthony McCarten adapted his own stage play for this 2019 film, funded and distributed by Netflix with a limited cinema release.
The plot is inspired by the true events surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's successor, the Argentinian Cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, who would eventually become Pope Francis.
The film begins with news archive footage involving the death of Pope John Paul II, and the process which elected the conservative and hugely divisive Joseph Ratzinger as head of the Papacy. Bergoglio intends to resign his faith following the Vatican leaks scandal, but the pope refuses to allow him to, as he considers his own position.
True to its stage play roots, the dialogue between the two men is absolutely fantastic, and I could honestly watch a film about conversations between these two characters all day, however, the film does cut to socio-political issues in Argentina which aren't explained too well to anyone who wouldn't have any pre-knowledge of the military dictatorship which affected the country in the mid 1970's.
Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins are both excellent, and it's the scenes in which these two share the screen that give the film its most enjoyable moments. The film also does a good job blending in real footage, but it's just a little too heavy than I expected it to be.
As said above, I could watch a stage play with Pryce and Hopkins playing these characters all day long, but I doubt I would watch this movie again.