The Two Popes

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It's a movie with two old dudes talking about their faith, and yet it's way more entertaining than it has a right to be!
Watching the trailer I was sort of expecting a glorification of the current Pope Francis, and while that is surely its intent, I have to tip my hat to the exceptional actors for pulling off memorable performances. Jonathan Pryce's likeness is almost spooky - refraining from being overdone and becoming an impression, but it's Anthony Hopkins' Ratzinger who in my opinion offers the stronger showing, depicting an austere and out of touch patriarch of the Church with a deep suffering and isolation, monumental in his losing effort to hold together the institution he believes in, despite the crisis of his belief in its superior cause and destination. The conflict is entirely carried by the perfect on screen chemistry between the two and their superb acting. Without believable actors, this would have easily been just a boring fake documentary or TV movie. It's such a delight to see the two actors portray this script that dangerously swings between didactic and hagiography that even its questionable agenda sorta slips by and moments of pure corny like Bergoglio trying to bust tango moves with Pope Hannibal are tolerable, and even charming as intended - such as the finale.

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Factual error: Pope Benedict and Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio are hanging out in the room by the Sistine Chapel having a pizza and a drink together. The drink of choice is Fanta, apparently Joseph Ratzinger's favourite beverage. The scene is supposed to happen in 2012, but the label of the bottle is a more modern one, introduced in 2016. (01:34:20)

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More mistakes in The Two Popes

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio: It's not easy to entrust oneself to God's mercy. I know He has a very special capacity for forgetting our mistakes. God forgets, but I don't.

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Trivia: The director only came across Jonathan Pryce because he was searching for photos of Pope Francis, and the two people were frequently being compared as they look so similar. He looked into Pryce's body of work and realised he'd be an excellent choice for the part.

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