We Have a Pope
On release from 2nd December
Two greats of European cinema—Nanni Moretti, director of the 2006 Berlusconi-baitingIl Caimano, and Michel Piccoli, a screen veteran who once starred with Brigitte Bardot inLe Mépris—unite for a comedy about the papacy. Since Moretti and Piccoli are both outspoken left-wing artists, this sounds like a recipe for an easy satire about the Catholic church. Instead, We Have a Pope is a gentle, subtle offering—think The King’s Speech,but in the Vatican.
The Pope, played by Piccoli, is a depressed old man, so resentful about his recent appointment that he refuses to appear on the balcony following the plumes of white smoke and the traditional announcement, “Habemus papam.”
After his wails of terror are heard by thousands of the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square, a psychiatrist, Professor Brezzi (Moretti), is employed to get to the bottom of the new Holy Father’s troubles. Brezzi’s treatments include ball-game tournaments and quasi-group therapy where all the cardinals listen in on the Pope’s would-be private psychiatric consultation. In a world of repression and conformity, emotions begin to come out as Moretti allows the humanity and humility of his characters to rise above the scandals of recent years.