An intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world. Inspired by true events.Written by
Two strong, honest, performances giving plenty of food for thought.
This is quite a clever piece of work. Both performances demonstrate a complex, sometimes conflicted, humanity in a touching and thought-provoking way. Hopkins, as the scholarly Benedict XVI coming to realise that he no longer feels capable - for various reasons - to remain Pontiff and Pryce as Cardinal Bergoglio with whom he has little in common, and who has come to Rome to seek his permission to retire. The story focuses more on the trials and tribulations of Bergoglio as he rises to prominence in the Jesuit order and navigates the political turmoil of Argentina in the 70s and 80s where he develops a much less "conservative" approach to the issues facing the Catholic Church than his Pope. By the conclusion, however, both men appear reconciled to the honesty and integrity of the other. The extent to which the detail is true is anyone's guess - but by using humour, sport and even ABBA, this proves to be an intimate observational film that is certainly one of Netflix' better commissions.
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