The Two Popes (Netflix)
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Both Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Bergoglio and Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict do a very creditable job of acting. But the director, Fernando Meirelles, gives both Bergoglio and Benedict too much credit for unstinting piety. For instance, Pope Benedict was either catatonic or complicit in concealing the extraordinarily widespread sexual molestation of children by Roman Catholic priests. Meirelles touches very lightly on this soul destroying cover-up, allowing Benedict to appear unstintingly sacerdotal and far less guided by urgent pragmatism than he surely must have been. Francis is dealt with more realistically. His moral collapse in the face of the murderous Argentinian junta is dealt with - at least to some extent. But it could have been far harsher. Is this movie worth seeing? Yes, if it's cold and rainy. Does it offer the gloves off depiction, especially of Benedict, it should have? No. And notice I haven't even mentioned the glaring hypocrisy of a pope living in kingly splendor while professing to follow the patently contradictory teachings of Jesus? That the director barely notices.
I found it excellent and intensely revelatory and moving. True, silent intimacy of commitment to the ever-growing gifts that come of fidelity to one’s spirit, light within ~ no matter who, where and what is going on on the outside in this life as human beings. Going through history as they have and are, « The Two Popes » brings to light for us how much intimate inner collaboration can and do maintain collective active service for humanity. Also, only God (however one chooses to refer to Him/Her/it...) knows the actual complete truth. All we need know is that the roots are true, and multi-dimensional. Anrhony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce are amazing actors. This is their masterpiece!