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The Two Popes

Cardinal Bergoglio (played by Jonathan Pryce) who would later become Pope Francis, goes to the Vatican in 2012 to submit his request for retirement to Pope Benedict XVI (played by Anthony Hopkins). As it happens, at the same time, Benedict summons Bergoglio to the Vatican to tell him some important news: That he wants to resign as Pope and recommend Bergoglio as his replacement. The film uses that fictionalized meeting as a stage for a dialogue between the two men that illuminates their philosophical differences (and similarities). I really enjoyed the film. The dialogue between the two men is engaging, and the performances by both are superb (especially by Jonathan Pryce); their chemistry is wonderful. There is a nice balance of depth of topic and lighthearted humor. The film is really about Bergoglio’s story and his journey to the papacy; I liked learning a slice of history regarding the rise of the dictatorship in Argentina. Thumbs up for a film that encapsulates in an engaging way the spiritual struggles that many face. (2019; 4 Stars)


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