The Two Popes
Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce tussle over the future of the Catholic Church in this thrillingly cinematic two-hander from Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener).
Dir Fernando Meirelles
Prod Dan Lin, Jonathan Eirich, Tracey Seaward
Scr Anthony McCarten
With Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujín
UK Distribution Netflix
Travelling from the streets of Buenos Aires to the hallowed halls of the Vatican, Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) has become disillusioned with the direction of the Catholic Church, even though he’s a contender for the top job. So when it’s Joseph Ratzinger (Anthony Hopkins) who gets the gig, becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Bergoglio is relieved. However, the institution faces a reckoning with itself. And when the two men are brought together for a few days over one summer, their clash of ideologies – forward-looking and progressive versus a stubborn adherence to tradition – makes for passionate debate. Terrific writing from Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour) showcases the chemistry between Hopkins and Pryce, who relish the rich dialogue that crackles with humour. Director Fernando Mereilles’ technical bravura depicts – with rich textures – compassion, self-doubt, shame and pride as the intimate debate between these two powerful men progresses. And whatever your stakes in religion, Pryce and Hopkins are a joy to watch together on screen. Hallelujah!