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.
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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 saw this last night by chance on the TV. It was excellent! It was wonderful to see a totally absorbing movie, with breathtaking suspense based not on endless explosions and car chases, but brava performances by talented actors with a great and insightful script.
The historical setting is very well done showing both the grimy violent of the time, and the contradictions of politics and faith in the inner workings of the Vatican.
But the main joy is the intelligent acting and clear characterizations of the contending cardinals.
Just a note: for those who don't know their history, the main character, Rodrigo Borgia went on to became Pope Alexander VI, the father of Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia by the woman portrayed as his mistress in the film. He was the most controversial of the secular popes of the Renaissance.
Wonderful film, see it if you can.
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