THE TWO POPES works for the same reason that THE CROWN on TV works – it treats icons as people, brings them down to the level of the rest of us normal folks. The transition from Pope Benedict to Francis last decade was an interesting one – seldom has a Pope chosen to retire. Showing Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) and soon-to-be-Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) ordering in pizza and Fanta to the Vatican is a lovely touch. Having them watch football and bad cop shows from their respective homelands is another. There’s some snappy dialogue that does a lot of the character-building legwork – Francis: “I’m Argentinian, the tango and football are compulsory” / Benedict: “Please do not make a joke of everything I say. It’s dishonest and cynical. Have the respect to show me your real anger” – but the two leads’ subtle and grounded performances help to keep the story involving, even when murky flashbacks intrude. SSP
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I'm not paid to write about film - I do it because I love it. Favourite filmmakers include Bong Joon-ho, Danny Boyle, the Coen Brothers, Nicolas Winding Refn, Clio Barnard, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Verhoeven, Taika Waititi and Edgar Wright. All reviews and articles are original works written and owned by me. They represent one man's opinion, and I'm more than happy to engage in civilised debate if you disagree.
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