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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

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
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

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



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

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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

Apr 14, 2009


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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.

April 10, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 8, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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The Pope's Toilet entertains, even while it illustrates how the impoverished can adjust their religious ideals out of desperation.

April 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop 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.

June 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
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.

April 19, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
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.

April 7, 2009 Full Review
Movie Eye

Not as funny as the title would suggest.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Comment (1)
Laramie Movie Scope

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

September 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Charming and hilariously offbeat.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
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.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

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

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Financial Times
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.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Worth spending a penny on, but not much more.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

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

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

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

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian

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.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
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?
September 25, 2010
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!
October 21, 2009
Jojo Shek

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • El baño del Papa (DE)
  • The Pope's Toilet (El Bano del Papa) (UK)
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