We Have A Pope (Habemus Papam)

January 17th, 2012
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director. Nanni Morretti

Cast: Michel Piccoli, Nanni Morretti, Margherita Buy.

104mins  Italy

A comedy in which the Pope suffers a massive identity crisis and goes awol during his inauguration conclave throwing the whole of Rome into a major crisis.  A psychiatrist is called to help in the shape of Nanni Morretti, who turns the Vatican into an Italian basketball contest between the various cardinals.

This is a bit of an ego trip for Nanni Morretti who both stars and directs.  After a great start the film veers off and rather loses direction like a badly driven popemobile.  That said, the crowd scenes are very impressive and there’s something appealing about this take on the workings of the papal conclave complete with twitching curtains and hierarchical hobnobbing.  Margherita Buy is superb as Morretti’s on-screen wife but the biggest treat is Michel Piccoli’s bewildered performance as the reluctant Pope.

Meredith Taylor

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