Habemus Papam (2011)
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- We Have a Pope
- 102 min.
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A little bit silly, but enjoyable nevertheless. Great Piccoli, as usual.
I laughed out loud seeing this film.
This was my first Nanni Moretti film - topically I was inspired to watch on the night of the election of the new Pope Francis - and I very much enjoyed it.
In the first instance there's a strong sense that what we see behind the closed doors of the Vatican is a fascinating and entirely feasible process of the actual meeting of the cardinals to choose their next spiritual leader in a semi-documentary style. The surprise of a relative outsider being selected to take the position results in Michel Piccoli's gentle cardinal having a crisis of confidence as he is due to step onto the balcony of St Peter's to greet the massed faithful. His refusal to accept the role he has been given leads to the summoning of a top psychiatrist (Moretti himself, in a comically acerbic performance) who is not permitted to leave until the crisis is resolved. Unable to break through as he is not permitted to ask personal questions of the human representative of God, he sends the man anonymously to the second best psychiatrist in Rome (his ex-wife), and in the process the old man gives his guardians the slip and goes on the run, falling in with a group of actors rehearsing a Chekhov play, and belatedly begins to remember and experience richer experiences than he had allowed himself in his previously devout position. Meanwhile, to avert disaster, a ruse is established to convince the remaining cardinals that their Pope-in-waiting is still in his state rooms via carefully fluttered curtains, while Moretti sets up a volleyball tournament in the Vatican courtyards to help pass the time. A good deal of humour comes from the light hearted sending up of the venerable old men as variously competitive, bickering, cheeky and dotty, not to mention leaping into the air for the odd vital drop shot in slow motion, and that humour nicely sets up the seriousness of the predicament facing Piccoli - a man faced with enormous responsibility who has realised almost too late what he's been missing all his life. A very enjoyable, humane and surprisingly affecting film.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!