The Two Popes – 9

What an intelligent film! What acting! And how daring – to base a film on the life of a living person, and the Pope, no less! I’m not a Catholic, but the spectacle of cardinals in robes, the scale of the Vatican and Castel Gondolfo, and the power and beauty of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel were awe-inspiring. The story itself, capturing the doctrinal debate within the Catholic Church, was smoothly laid out and instructive. But all was background for two Oscar-worthy performances: Anthony Hopkins can be a ham, but being God’s right-hand man provides a license for excess. The revelation was Jonathan Pryce, who somehow matched Hopkins with his modesty. The scenes of the two of them in conversation together were absolutely riveting. I could have used less of the Argentine flashback story, but that may be because I was eager to return to the splendor of Rome.

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