In 1458, five years after the fall of Constantinople to the Turk, eighteen cardinals met in Rome to elect a new pope. A 27-year-old Spanish cardinal, Rodrigo Borgia, learns to play a very dangerous game; how to survive his first conclave.
No cardinal other than Silvius Aeneas Piccolomini ever recorded the secret courtroom-like proceedings of a papal conclave. Based on his diary, "The Conclave" brings to life the gripping and surprisingly relevant events of the Conclave of 1458. Written by
I would recommend this film to any people interested in history of Europe/Italy during the Renaissance time. The events take place in the year 1458 and describe the political turmoil around the election of the new pontiff. Although young Rodrigo Borja plays a prominent role, this film is not solely about him but about the conclave of cardinals as a whole. The acting is excellent and it is impressive how a film shot in a few closed rooms without any visual effects or fast action sequences can grasp the attention of the viewer by pure strength of dialog and portrayal of character. I especially liked the acting of Brian Blessed (Piccolomini), James Faulkner (Cardinal Guillaume D'Estouteville), Brian Downey (Cardinal Juan De Mella), Rolf Kanies (Cardinal Bessarion) and others.
The film conveys the atmosphere of these times brilliantly and it is tempting to ask for a continuation. One caveat is that the film is not following the exact sequence of historical events, and I would advise reading a wiki article about the conclave of 1458. But only AFTER watching the film.
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