The Two Popes (2019) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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There is something magical when Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis chats with Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict at the museum. The two popes open up to one another about their past, sometimes not so proud of events that requires some forgiving. What the audience ends up connecting is the dots, the events that made them both eventual Popes, the leader of billions of followers and faith. There is so much to admire about Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles’s approach to the topic as much as the two veteran actors going about the roles in the most grounded and believable fashion. Clocking just over two hours, this Netflix production never bore or tire as it breeze by its running time.
Jonathan Pryce is the real star of the show and given more of the juicy role to play around with. As Pope Francis, Pryce manages to depict an open minded human being with a past that he deemed as a lifelong mistake during the atrocities of his hometown Argentina. Pryce eludes a sort of presence that is normally reserved for scene stealers and against Hopkins, he provides the opposite in all ways of thinking, vision and reasons. As part of a two man show, Hopkins more than hold his part and shows a battled old man trying to stand up right in a highly political and commercial world.
All in all, “Two Popes” manages to tell a deeper story of how the two popes interacts, came to be and provides insights into the world of politics within voting process. The audience gets to witness how human conditions affects even the greatest of human beings and that the Pope is also the same human form as its people. This is a great film with great performances and as we witness the duo popes watch the World Cup over pizza and beer, we too feel the need to live, breathe and survive.
I rated it 8/10