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  • I'm not a Catholic, and this movie is very, very Catholic. But beyond that, it's one of the deepest cinematic examinations of faith I've ever seen. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, playing Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (who later becomes Pope Francis) respectively, both deliver brilliant, finely crafted lines with stellar performances. (It's somewhat ironic that two Welsh actors are playing a German and an Argentenian, but most of the film is spoken in English, so it works out in some strange way.) I really didn't follow the most recent transition between Popes, so I had not expected to be so deeply involved with this movie, but I am very glad to have watched it. Highly recommended for its insightful look into the human condition and the underpinnings of faith with its sometimes wavering texture, even for the most religious of us. Beautifully filmed on location in Argentina and the Vatican. If you subscribe to Netflix, then I suggest you watch this movie tonight.
  • I've never felt compelled to write a review, but this time I felt I had to.

    You see, this is a movie about two old guys, that believe in something I don't. The whole thing is pretty much just the two of them waking (slowly) and talking. No action, no beautiful woman, no explosions, no cursing. All the things I like in a movie and yet, I loved it.

    It's well directed, planned, written and interpreted.

    Thanks for making it, Netflix!
  • Much has been made of the brilliance of the two title performers, and deservedly so. Both Hopkins and Pryce are absolutely convincing as German and Argentinean pontiffs who converse in English (conveniently for viewers) as their common language. Each actor is so fresh and alive within the personality of his "character" that I was easily persuaded they may be truer to the souls of these men than the living originals. Not enough credit has been paid to Anthony McCarten, the writer of this complex, layered conversation. It is the kind of dialogue great men wish they had spoken. What courage and skill it takes to undertake such a verbal tour de force. (Imagine if world leaders couldn't hire speech writers. Could Shakespeare's kings and queens really speak as well as he wrote for them?) McCarten has written the scripts for three Oscar-winning actors; isn't it time he was recognized? And Fernando Meirelles is the masterful director who brought all the elements together. This is a renaissance man, adept in many fields, from architecture to cinema--and organic farming as well. He has been nominated for one directing Oscar (for "City of God"), and here he shows his ability to maintain both visual interest and intellectual fascination through two hours of what amounts to an intense, extended talk. That the movie never felt "talky" is a tribute to all four great artists.
  • ..... how a dialogue-based movie could make me sooo immersed in it, i cried three times during the movie. I am not a Christian but OMG their acting and the camera ..... they're soooooo good you must watch it coz I have no words to describe it!
  • From the title alone you'd think this is about religion or some kinda propaganda to re-polish the Vatican but it is just not ... It is a two hours of someones life and how change even on the most strict situations can bring progress.

    Anthony McCarten wrot an amazing flawless script, I mean in the last five years you'll see his name on Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour, Bohemian Rhapsody and then he brought us this... the directing and visuals ,, and more importantly the beauty of multi sets from Italy to Argentina were all on point.

    Now to the cast ... My goodness the duo of Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce was unbelievable !! the dialogue went like , how can they do this !! you can absolutely sense the level of acting between these two ... It was like a dance ,by the way there was a scene right at the end where they both try to dance tango 😂

    Anyway ,, some people will get political and might not like it and probably call it a Hollywood propaganda ,, but it mostly got high review for one reason and one reason only,, because it is a heartwarming story executed brilliantly.
  • Great actors working absolutely in total harmony and incredible story
  • This is quite a clever piece of work. Both performances demonstrate a complex, sometimes conflicted, humanity in a touching and thought-provoking way. Hopkins, as the scholarly Benedict XVI coming to realise that he no longer feels capable - for various reasons - to remain Pontiff and Pryce as Cardinal Bergoglio with whom he has little in common, and who has come to Rome to seek his permission to retire. The story focuses more on the trials and tribulations of Bergoglio as he rises to prominence in the Jesuit order and navigates the political turmoil of Argentina in the 70s and 80s where he develops a much less "conservative" approach to the issues facing the Catholic Church than his Pope. By the conclusion, however, both men appear reconciled to the honesty and integrity of the other. The extent to which the detail is true is anyone's guess - but by using humour, sport and even ABBA, this proves to be an intimate observational film that is certainly one of Netflix' better commissions.
  • I just watched this at TIFF, and thought it was a very charming film. The performances by Pryce and Hopkins were exceptional - very humorous, and the subtleties of there characters made for a fascinating chemistry. Highly recommended!
  • kermitdgorf12321 December 2019
    Two great actors at the top of their game playing two famous men of the church. Not sure how much is made up and how much of the dialogue between the two holy men is true..but very entertaining and we'll acted by both. Glad to see Jonathan Pryce finally getting the praise he deserves. Always a fan of the great Sir Anothny Hopkins...he plays Pope Benedict with wicked Humour. Jonathan Pryce plays the current Pope Francis with humility and a man of his convictions. Bravo to Netflix for making this film.
  • Many movies with this kind of set up and actors often fall in the trap of trying to be too complex in thoughts and philosophy. Even though most People even at that level of importance never are.

    God loves football and a beer without being rediculed. Wauw. Best 2 hours in front of a tv for a long time
  • kaiminc24 December 2019
    10/10
    Wow
    Wow, just Wow! Excellent movie and Bravo to Netflix! We need more of these types of movies. Easily the best of the year!
  • Many have started with 'I am not Catholic' as if that is a prerequisite for enjoying the movie. I am not a female and have enjoyed many movies about women. I never served time in prison but have certainly received rich rewards from dramas about prison.

    I am not British but I enjoy English actors, who have far more formal training in classical drama than Americans. And these two actors are among the very best ever. The drama may be accurate or not, it does not matter. It is clear that one pope had a different style than the other. Both were sincere on their beliefs and both were men of faith.

    I am an atheist but loved the film. That is because I am a skeptical atheist and as I age I think about what a person of faith might feel at my age that I do it feel. Above all,else it is a movie about things we have never seen or thought of, philosophical differences at the highest rank of highest ranks of the Church.

    Bravo Netflix!
  • I saw this movie at TIFF, and had it as a possible since I didn't know what to expect from the subject. What amazed me the most was how universal the themes of the movie are, and how much the message of the movie is exactly the message we need right now in this world: Build bridges, not walls. Powerful movie, light at times, it flows perfectly up to the credit scenes. Please go watch! It deserves all the accolades it can get!
  • A movie I just happened to watch because my girlfriend had it on, and my oh my am I glad I did. And I'm not even Catholic!

    The performances were wonderful, the acting was top-notch, the music terrific, but was really took the cake was the absolutely stunning cinematography. I can't say enough good things about this movie. The only bad thing is it moved me to tears, and I hate crying 😭.
  • Being inaugurated as a new pope in the last century must have been a source of enormous pride. But there must also have been a nagging thought... at some point you are going to be paraded, stiff as a board, around your work courtyard before being taken back inside to your place of work and buried there!

    All that changed in 2013 when Pope Benedict XVI resigned, the first pope to voluntarily do so since Pope Celestine V in 1294. (Pope Gregory XII also resigned in 1415, but he was effectively forced to).

    This movie tells the story of that curious situation, when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (played by Jonathan Pryce) ended up as Pope Francis while Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) was still alive. The official reason for the pope's resignation appears to have been his advanced age. But the film paints a rather different picture.

    The movie starts back in 2005 as we enter the papal conclave. Benedict (Cardinal Ratzinger, as was) is the highly-political German cardinal who desperately wants the papacy; Bergoglio is the highly respected Argentinian cardinal who doesn't seek the office but might have it thrust upon him. (Clearly, when the white smoke clears, history has dictated the outcome).

    But flash forward to 2013 and Bergoglio will get another bite of the cherry. Is he worthy of the role? Through flashbacks we return to Perón's unsettling rule over Argentina and the events that made the man.

    The two stars are simply outstanding together, and it's no surprise at all that both have been nominated in the Oscar acting categories. They are almost joint leads. But - perhaps to give the film its best awards-season shot - Pryce is down for Best Actor and Hopkins is down for Best Supporting Actor.

    Anthony Hopkins in particular for me shone with the brilliant quietness and subtle facial movements that are the mark of a truly confident actor. Less is more.

    I was enjoying this movie enormously up until we flashed back to the Argentinian sub-plot. Set in the time of Perón's "Dirty War" when a huge number of people - estimates range from 9,000 to 30,000 - simply went "missing". There's nothing wrong with this sequence of the film. For example, a reunion of Bergoglio with a persecuted priest, Father Jalics (Lisandro Fiks) - is brilliantly and movingly done. It's just that for me it seemed so disjointed. It was jarring to switch from this Evita-era drama to the gentle drama of the papal plot.

    If the movie had been 30 minutes shorter and focused on the mental struggles of Benedict I would have preferred it. Curiously - we don't really get to fully understand his divergence from the faith. Bergoglio gets no end of back-story. But Ratzinger's is probably just as interesting, but not explored.

    This is still a really fine movie and will appeal to older folks who like a story rich with character acting and not heavy on the action or special effects. The director is Fernando Meirelles (who interestingly directed the Rio Olympics opening ceremony!) and it's written by Anthony McCarten, the man behind the screenplays for "The Theory of Everything", "Darkest Hour" and "Bohemian Rhapsody".

    You may still be able to find this in selected cinemas (e.g. Curzon) but it is also streaming on Netflix, which is where I had to watch it.

    (For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies on the web or Facebook. Thanks).
  • e_ca_o_je24 December 2019
    2 enormous actors and 1 giant director. One beautifully crafted and played masterpiece. And forget about being christian or any religious beliefs. This is purely art demonstrating the relationship between us. People. Humans. Very different but at the end all the same.

    A must see.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you are expecting a dull film because of the title, you will be happily mistaken. Nothing about this film is dull, and this is not coming from a Catholic. The two main characters could not have been more well cast and one cannot miss the stark polarity of roles between Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter and Pope Benedict, at least I could not. I also adore Pryce in every movie I have ever seen him in, this one as well, and the two actors together are superlative. The music is fantastic and the visuals are gorgeous, all accompanied by a riveting script. Whether you are any type of believer or not, there is value in seeing this film.
  • ..this was a pleasure to watch. Two exceptional performances which were genuinely deeply moving, framed expertly within the context of the fairly recent selection of the Pope(s). Funny at times and also eye opening as an eduction in traditions and dogma V modernisation and reform of the Catholic Church. Whether you have faith or none at all, this is a truly heart warming, non-sentimental journey in the company of two of Britain's finest actors.
  • If you read ghost-written books, you will discover that story is often offered "as told to" the real writer. With this movie, we are offered the biography of Pope Francis as told to Benedict XVI, the first pope to resign in more than half a millennium.

    More than that, it's the tale of their rapprochement: although Benedict was a conservative, and Francis as radical as you could be, they were -- and, as both men are still alive as I write this, are -- motivated by sincere faith, always listening for the voice of a G*d that more secular-minded people like me don't believe in.

    The real joy of this movie, though, is not the beautiful settings, nor the elaborate clothes and jewels that cardinals and popes wear -- when he is putting on the robes to assume the See of Rome, Francis refuses the jewels, the red shoes and similar appurtenances, remarking "the carnival is ended". It is the performances, Jonathan Pryce as Francis, Anthony Hopkins as Benedict, talking, arguing, being human with each other. These performances look simple. That is the magic of great actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, to produce something that looks simple and very human by means so arcane that not even the professionals can be sure of getting it right.
  • Watching "The Two Popes", I thought about how John Paul II was the first pope to condemn the Catholic Church's anti-Jewish policies, Benedict XVI was more reactionary, while Francis has been trying to make it more progressive. I wondered what the RCC's future holds.

    All in all, both Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce put on impressive performances. It's not the ultimate masterpiece, but I recommend it.
  • The movie was a great way to reflect on your faith and spirituality by listening to the conversations of the two popes. What I appreciate the most is that their conversations were very much focused on humility and humanity. Must see indeed!
  • There is so much garbage out there that when you come across a movie of such high caliber, centered around two giants of acting, it reinforces your belief in the art. Cinematography, script, direction, music, sets - all are excellent. Highly recommended. Kudos to Netflix. Keep them coming.
  • Anthony Hopkins & Jonathan Pryce, 2 of the best British actors, in one movie together is rare... Even more outstanding is the Director was Fernando Meirelles. A MUST see... BUT not based, nor entirely factual on true events. Its just an incredible movie, so enjoy it for what it is.... This is an honest review > I am not connected with this movie in any way.
  • Loved and cried through this movie. You will enjoy this movie no matter your faith or lack of faith. A very human view of the Pope. The two actors portraying them were awesome. My only hope is that Pope Francis's message reaches the world. If you feel you are not personally responsible for what is happening worldwide, we are all at fault. Thank you, Netflix, for making it readily available for all of us to watch without spending a bunch!
  • OzzellOnasi26 December 2019
    A moving portrayal of the interaction between pope Benedict XIV and Cardinal Bergoglio (shortly afterwards known as Pope Francis). The men are portrayed as opposites. Bergoglio is a progressive ex-jesuit while pope Benedict is a staunch conservative. Despite the fact that they disagrees about nearly everything, the two men find a connection during their discussions that happen (mostly) during the last days of Benedict's papacy.

    The dynamic between the men is the heart of the film and we find out a lot about Bergoglio's past. Sadly Benedict's past is not explored. I recommend the movie to anyone interested in person-driven drama or the papacy itself. I believe the scenes are filmed in the Vatican, which is in itself very interesting.
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