"The Two Popes" Review

Author: Daniel Paglia


“The Two Popes,” a new Netflix movie directed by Fernando Meirelles and written by Anthony McCarten, follows the blossoming friendship between two of the most influential men in the Catholic Church at a critical junction in its history. 

Predominantly set in the Vatican City, the film provides a glimpse into the foundations of the Church and how one man, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce), went from submitting his resignation as an archbishop to becoming the next Pope after Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) abdicated the papacy for the first time in modern history. 

While the film was highly regarded by critics and received many nominations at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA film awards, it neglected to delve into the personalities and beliefs of the two very different men. 

In what is, perhaps, the most interesting and troubling time in the Catholic Church in several centuries, the biographical drama failed to capture the complexities of the decisions made by each of the two men. The film did include many humorous quips and glimpses into the lives of the popes, but it failed to fulfill its potential, both in my mind and at the box office.