In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) summons Buenos Aires cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) to his summer residence for a talk; the two church leaders have completely opposite philosophies. Hopkins and Pryce are a treat to watch as representatives of different paths that the Catholic Church was (and still is) choosing between – remain true to conservative values or acknowledge that change might be necessary. As the current and future popes spend hours together talking, we and they realize what traits they share, including a controversial past. Frequently engrossing and entertaining, aided by flashbacks, a sense of humor and changing locations.
2019-U.S.-Britain-Italy-Argentina. 125 min. Color. Produced by Jonathan Eirich, Dan Lin, Tracey Seaward. Directed by Fernando Meirelles. Screenplay, Play: Anthony McCarten (”The Pope”). Cast: Anthony Hopkins (Benedict XVI), Jonathan Pryce (Jorge Mario Bergoglio), Juan Minujín (Young Bergoglio), Sidney Cole.
Last word: “When I first read the script, for me as well, it felt like the dynamic of the film: Pope Francis is the good pope, and Pope Benedict XVI is the bad one. Then I started to read more about Pope Benedict, and I understood his point that the whole idea of tradition and a church is supposed to connect you to God and not to people in society. I may disagree, but I understood his point. Then Anthony came on board; he had also read a lot about Benedict, and he likes Benedict, so he brought this humanity to him, and Anthony’s so charismatic while Pope Benedict is a dull guy. Then Anthony brought his own charisma to the character.” (Meirelles, Cineurope)