We Have a Pope

Dir. Nanni Moretti

Italy, France 2011 | Colour | 104mins | Drama

Cast: Michel Piccoli, Nanni Moretti, Margherita Buy, Jerzy Stuhr, Renato Scarpa

Tragi-comic depiction of events surrounding the election of a new Pope in Nanni Moretti's searching, satirical sideswipe at the Catholic Church in Italy.

A new Pope is being elected in Rome and, after a few false starts, the conclave of Catholic Cardinals makes its decision and white smoke issues, to symbolically announce the news.  The problem is that the French Pope-elect (wonderfully personified by the legendary Michel Piccoli) then suffers an immediate crisis of confidence and the frustrated, sequestered Cardinals seek secret assistance from a sceptical psychotherapist (played by, you guessed it, Nanni Moretti!).  So far, so funny and, of course, We Have a Pope is shot through with the director's great humour and wicked satirical eye: witness the stir-crazy cardinals' basketball tournament, organised by Moretti's mischievous shrink.  But this is far more than a sort of 'Carry on up the Vatican'.  Nor is We Have a Pope a crude diatribe on contemporary Catholicism, notwithstanding attacks by various Italian religious authorities to suggest otherwise.  Instead, Moretti's first film since his Berlusconi-bashing The Cayman is a wry, subtle and moving story of one man's faltering faith and fear of ultimate authority, that also reflects powerfully on the institutional face of the Catholic religion. - Adrian Wootton

Available on: DVD

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