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El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet) (2007)


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 25
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: An offbeat charmer, The Pope's Toilet is a humorous, well-crafted tale with plenty of heart and a poignant social message.

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 7
Fresh: 6
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: An offbeat charmer, The Pope's Toilet is a humorous, well-crafted tale with plenty of heart and a poignant social message.


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 4,206


Movie Info

Uruguayan directors César Chalone and Enrique Fernández co-helm the nutty Spanish-language farce El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet). The film unfolds in 1988, during Pope John Paul II's visit to Uruguay. While dozens of economically struggling locals devise plans to turn a buck from the arrival of the papal father -- such as baking cakes and wrapping chorizo sausages -- only one concocts a scheme to earn a fortune from defecation. Beto, a nickel-and-dime smuggler, reasons that all of those … More

Drama , Art House & International , Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Apr 14, 2009


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Critic Reviews for El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet)

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (3) | DVD (2)

The cast of pros and amateurs provides realistic performances, and co-director Charlone's lensing makes beautiful use of the rough landscape in a movie even the pope would enjoy.

Full Review… | April 10, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

Watch it now, and you'll be surprised how such a little movie can cut so deeply to the bone.

Full Review… | April 8, 2009
Time Out New York
Top Critic

The Pope's Toilet cloaks religious critique in the scrappy tempo of irremediable poverty and irrepressible enterprise.

Full Review… | April 8, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

The Pope's Toilet entertains, even while it illustrates how the impoverished can adjust their religious ideals out of desperation.

Full Review… | April 8, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

The movie isn't as bad as I feared, but I can't give it much of an endorsement, either.

Full Review… | January 30, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The Pope's Toilet excels most in its expression of a particular time and place, which Charlone films with the kind of physical intensity and realism associated with recent Argentine cinema.

Full Review… | October 22, 2008
Top Critic

Despite the sensationalism of Holy Father's arrival, the subtext here is that there's a speck on the map whose poor are treated as well as a backed-up john.

Full Review… | June 18, 2009
Boxoffice Magazine

A celebration of hope, humor and resilience among the humble and only secondarily a dig at media distortion and the disconnect between the Church and the poor.

Full Review… | April 19, 2009
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Although not the best imaginative movie title ever to grace a matinee sign, The Pope's Toilet resonates with a distinctive warmth and sense of reality and purpose.

Full Review… | April 7, 2009
Movie Eye

Not as funny as the title would suggest.

Full Review… | March 30, 2009
Laramie Movie Scope

This bittersweet parable has loads of charm but several graver issues are also raised.

Full Review… | September 9, 2008
Empire Magazine

Charming and hilariously offbeat.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Shadows on the Wall

It's charming in a proper way, entirely avoiding sentiment and can be counted one of the best films in town.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
This is London

Lots of bruised humour, quiet virtuosity - watch for the slow-motion montage of disaster - and doggy-eyed optimism.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Financial Times

El Baño Del Papa (which translates as The Pope's Toilet) is an engaging and humane affair, never losing sight of its characters' material hardships.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Total Film

Worth spending a penny on, but not much more.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Sky Movies

Full of folksy humour but next to no urgency, it's a strangely exasperating slice of humdrum world cinema.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Daily Telegraph

This is a heartfelt and deadpan portrait of the knife-edge poverty of people who are not so much greedy as desperate.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008

Beto as a character is problematic - one minute hes a twinkly, moustachiod dreamer hoping for a better life; the next he's a macho bully who shoves his cowering wife around their shack. The film requires that we focus on the former and forgive the latter.

August 1, 2008
Times [UK]

You'll certainly be rooting for Beto and his brood by the time the Popemobile rolls into town.

Full Review… | July 31, 2008
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet)


In "The Pope's Toilet," to make ends meet, Beto(Cesar Troncoso) smuggles goods across the Brazilian border by bicycle where on one trip his pal and fellow smuggler Valvulina(Mario Silva) is unlucky to have his goods confiscated by their nemesis, Meleyo(Nelson Lence). Anyway, Beto is not getting any younger and would like his teenaged daughter Silvia(Virginia Ruiz), a wannabe journalism student, to join in the family business but his wife Carmen(Virginia Mendez) violently disagrees. This is all towards buying a motorbike which would make his job that much easier, especially with his knee acting up. His bad knee also forces him to take the low road on a run which leads to an unfortunate run-in with customs. But the Pope is coming to visit and Beto has a plan...

Inspired by a real story, "The Pope's Toilet" is a heartfelt movie about a poor community that is hampered by the arbitrary nature of borders and authority that preys on the weak. So, you can understand that they see a huge opportunity when the Pope comes to visit. For the faithful, this means spiritual but most see it as a chance to make money to at least temporarily lift them out of poverty. And some wonder if it is right to make money off the Pope's visit. But, then, they do not have any choice, do they? And what's more important, anyway?

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


This movie is a GEM! The story is filmed based on a true event that happened in 1988 when the Pope visited Melo, Uruguay. It's beautiful, sad, inspiring, truthful, funny and angry. Superb music! EXCELLENT acting! A must watch!

Jojo Shek

Super Reviewer

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