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Monday, April 9, 2012


Usually if I go to a movie with high expectations, I am disappointed; NOT SO with this one!  It was absolutely marvelous! A "spectacle" of C.B. DeMille proportions (without marching armies or battle scenes) honoring and showing the pomp and pageantry that goes on inside the Vatican when a Pope is put to rest (it shows the plain wooden casket being carried ) and how the Cardinals are sequestered in Conclave to vote for his successor.  As the faithful gather by the thousands to watch for the sign: (White smoke= Hooray.  Black smoke= No decision.)  Most of the Cardinals are seen praying, "Please God, not me!" as Votes are taken and recorded. After many stalemates (Black smoke); at last, White smoke appears, bells ring, people are overjoyed. But not "Cardinal Melville" played brilliantly by Michel Piccoli, who is horrified to have been selected.  He has what seems to be a complete nervous breakdown, and after a medical doctor pronounces him fit, they bring in a psychiatrist, played by Nanni Moretti (who is also the Director, and shares credits with two other excellent writers). Piccoli is simply superb. Dialogue (subtitles) is splendid. The Cardinals play volley ball, cheered on by Moretti who is trying to keep up morale, while the new Pope has escaped the Vatican, trying to come to terms with the role that has been thrust upon him. Every one of the actors is a pleasure to watch. Perfect casting all around.  I loved this film. (I'm not Catholic, in case you were wondering.) I was  touched by the devotion, and the human-ness of each of the Cardinals. WE HAVE A POPE is a drama, but there are plenty of places where you will smile, and even have to laugh.  All in all, very enjoyable. Highly recommended.       

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