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The Two Popes
Behind Vatican walls, the conservative Pope Benedict and the liberal future Pope Francis must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church in The Two Popes (2019).
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, 7 p.m.
- Single: $14
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about this event
The Catholic Church’s papacy is a singular institution, with unique demands placed on the men who would see themselves elevated to it. This decade saw one of the Church’s most important moments of transition, but news reports can fail in the face of such enormous, complex change. The Two Popes takes us beyond TV images of smoke rising from the Vatican chimney into the hearts, minds, and actions of those charged with leading over a billion faithful. Directed by Brazil’s Oscar-nominated Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and starring two acting legends in Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, this insightful story ushers us behind gilded doors to watch the once and future Popes grapple with faith and religious leadership in a rapidly changing world.
The year is 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pryce) could not be a less conventional candidate for the papacy. Dodging pomp at every turn, he prefers walking or biking to limousines. He likes to tango and watch soccer with ordinary people. In an amusing early scene, we hear him whistling “Dancing Queen” in the Vatican men’s room. Most importantly, he believes it is the Church’s obligation to respond to the shifting needs of its followers — which makes him the opposite of Pope Benedict (Hopkins), who regards any change as a perilous compromise to the Church’s integrity.
Nevertheless, Benedict realizes that momentum is building for Bergoglio to succeed him, so the two men meet, break bread, and engage in a debate that reveals much about their respective pasts and divergent visions for the future.
With its brilliantly detailed performances from Pryce and Hopkins, its cinematic flair, and surprising flourishes of humour, The Two Popes makes for a deeply rewarding experience.
Talk Cinema offers sneak previews of films personally selected by film critic Harlan Jacobson, former editor of Film Comment magazine, published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Jacobson created and has programmed the series since 1992. His selections may include an award-winning drama, an outrageous indie comedy, a provocative documentary, or the next breakout hit chosen from among new independent and foreign films from Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, and other internationally ranked film festivals. Discussions with film scholars and special guests follow the screenings.