The Two Popes

The Two Popes ★★★½

"Forgive me holy father, but Jesus never came down from the cross."

An overlong autobiographical dramedy that takes its elderly time to really get into the proper rhythm. But once it does, I was really invested in the politics of the papacy, and the idealistic differences between the antisocial German Pope Benedict and the people's Argentinian Pope Francis. Both holinesses excellently played by Sir Anthony Hopkins and the Oscar worthy Jonathan Pryce. I can completely see why this didn't really appeal to the majority of audiences, as I sincerely believe that your investment within theological disquisition and critique determines how far the film will go with you. On top of being in a variety of different languages, all of which I'm either fluent or proficient in, the pacing is quite erratic, and my compatriot Fernando Meirelles' direction is very weird at times. Some uncalled for shifts between wide shots of the religious grandiosity and calming natural establishing shots are intercut and thrown off by some Greengrass shakey cam and The Office zooms. 

But I can't help but feel for this endearing possibly adjusted depiction of a true story between two popes. I found myself and my mother laughing quite a lot throughout the film. The dry humour delivered by Hopkins and Pryce worked for me, and I often found myself interested by the known qualms and criticisms of the Church that the film posits. Along with the Lead Actor nomination for Pryce, I wouldn't be upset with an Original Screenplay nom. Certainly a best of 2019.

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