We Have a Pope (2012)
Nanni Moretti joins forces with the great French actor Michel Piccoli to tell the story of Melville, a cardinal who suddenly finds himself elected as the next Pope. Never the front runner and completely caught off guard, he panics as he's presented to the faithful in St. Peter's Square. To prevent a world wide crisis, the Vatican's spokesman calls in an unlikely psychiatrist who is neither religious or all that committed, played by Moretti, to find out what is wrong with the new Pope. As the world nervously waits outside, inside the therapist tries to find a solution. But Cardinal Melville is adamant: he does not want the job, or at least needs time to think it over. What follows is a marvelous insight into the concept of a human being existing behind the title of God's representative on Earth. -- (C) IFC … More
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Critic Reviews for We Have a Pope
Always the star of his movies, even when he shouldn't be, the atheist Moretti gets caught up in his own papal bull. But Piccoli's blessed empathy prevails.
This is rich material that Moretti mines for both superficial absurdity and deep pathos. But he refuses to forge an orthodox happy ending, let alone a tinny satire.
We Have a Pope takes its shots at the institution of the Catholic Church, but this is by no means a scathing satire. It's more of a character study, insightful and nuanced, about a man grappling with a profound sense of inadequacy, questioning himself.
"We Have a Pope" is a nuanced, moving and profoundly humane exploration of doubt, faith, weakness and resolve.
While We Have a Pope contains an interesting idea for a film, it ultimately fails to portray the struggle Cardinal Melville is going through, which is the centerpiece of the entire film.
This is certainly a great idea for a film, it just needs better execution, less stalling for and wasting of time, and a better means of showing the difficult period that Cardinal Melville is going through.
To its great credit, just before the credits, We Have A Pope slips away from its droll dramedy and offers a sharp anticlimax--a pointed stab at Catholicism now. The declaration of its title turns out to be the emptiest statement of all.
While Moretti is as secular as the character he plays in the film, he gives us a papal portrait that's nuanced and counterintuitive; we're used to the humanity of popes evinced as Borgian lust and avarice, not as self-doubt and humility.
The premise is truly inspired, the settings are handsome, and the 86-year-old Piccoli is superb in the role of a reluctant Vicar of Christ, his doubts and hopes and fears playing across his face like clouds.
Are we more fascinated by a peek inside the Vatican walls or by this portrait of a humble man who would rather watch a Chekhov play than pontificate?
It isn't quite a religious experience, but it is a sweet one. In other words: We have a charmer.
Like the bulk of the story, the movie itself just seems to be marking time, waiting for someone to take charge.
It's an amusing feature but also emotionally resonant and expertly performed.
Big chunks of the film are devoted to the idea that it's hilarious to watch guys in fancy costumes bicker and play volleyball, but that sort of thing is amusing for about a minute.
Although We Have a Pope is a heady concoction, it may not have mass appeal. It is blessed with a memorable performance by Michel Piccoli as the bewildered, overwhelmed cleric. But Nanni Moretti's direction at times seems as random as Melville's journey.
Audience Reviews for We Have a Pope
A wonderfully wry but intelligent satire that asks very valid questions. This is not the cheap 'Pope sees Therapist comedy' that it may appear to be, that synopsis is just there to lure the people in (or was put there by people who have not seen or understand the film). What it is is a very clever analysis on the role of a Pope and questions whether any man can really claim to be 'God's right hand man on Earth'. The structure of the Church and the secrecy of the Vatican are also explored but director/writer/actor Nanni Morett never once pokes fun or insults the Catholic Church. Instead he leads us through a slightly absurd world putting the Vatican into perspective and reveals (for me at least) that all men are equal and so are their contradictions.
Even with Piccoli in a strong performance, this drama doesn't live up to the promise of its premise. While the first half is efficient and has a good pace, the second part is disjointed, dragging with no direction and going nowhere. Besides, Moretti's character seems completely useless here.More
What a wonderful film. Shame that it didn't get more recognition in Cannes. Cloaked in humor, this is nonetheless a serious look at a religious leader's internal quest for personal truth. The humility shown is precisely what the Church needs, but... it's merely a film... Michel Piccolli at his very best!More
As the Papal Conclave wears on, it appears that there is no clear frontrunner which might have something to do with nobody really wanting the promotion. Eventually, the name of Cardinal Melville(Michel Piccoli) takes precedence and wins out. At the worst possible moment right before being introduced to the faithful, he has an anxiety attack. After a time of waiting for him to recover his senses, the cardinals get restless, with the Austrlian contingent wanting to go over the wall to do a little sightseeing. So, while the powers that be read them the rule book, they also bend them a little to bring in a famed psychologist(Nanni Moretti, who also directed and co-wrote).
First off, a disclaimer. "We Have a Pope" really has no problems with the Catholic Church or anybody associated with it. Yes, there is a little white lying and conniving but absolutely no global conspiracies, so hopefully nobody's going to hell.(Still, what the Church would do with the ending and the volleyball tournament is beyond me.) Rather, with amiable good humor, Nanni Moretti shrugs as he wonders what all the fuss is about.(To quote him, he is always harder on himself in his films than others.) More is the shame considering the awful pressure the cardinals are under with such lofty expectations. And don't forget; one should always be vigilant towards those seeking power.
We Have a Pope Quotes
- Cardinal Melville:
- I have a parental deficit. But I don't know what it is.
- Female Psychotherapist:
- What do you do?
- Cardinal Melville:
- I'm an actor.
- Cardinal Melville:
- I can't do this.
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