Genre: Drama / Comedy
Director: Nanni Moretti
Starring: Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Stuhr, Nanni Moretti, Margherita Buy
Language: Italian, Latin, German, English, Spanish, Polish, French
Duration: 102 min.
The newly elected Pope suffers a panic attack just as he is due to appear on St Peter's balcony to greet the faithful, who have been patiently awaiting the conclave's decision. His advisors, unable to convince him he is the right man for the job, seek help from a renowned psychoanalyst (and atheist). But his fear of the responsibility suddenly thrust upon him is one that he must face on his own.
We Have a Pope is a film directed by and co-starring Nanni Moretti. It screened in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. It was recently voted the top film of 2011 by the influential French magazine Cahiers du Cinema.
It stars French screen legend Michel Piccoli as Cardinal Melville, who is elected the new Pope by his fellow College of Cardinals, however he finds himself unable to shoulder the weight of that responsibility, breaking down in anguish moments before stepping out onto the balcony to announce himself to the faithful. We then follow him as he struggles to find his true self under the constant watchful eyes of the Vatican and an anxiously waiting world.
Well done for the most part, even though the film looks like an expensive tourist video for the Vatican City with a mostly flattering depiction of the church and it's representatives, the overall tone is surprisingly religiously neutral. There are also some great instances of ironic humor as Melville wanders around Rome and interacts with the populace totally unrecognized, getting brushed off by a bartender, or odd stares for talking to himself on a bus.
Despite the grand setting and characters, essentially this film is about a simple human crisis, dealt with in a subtle, fun, and interesting manner. Worth watching, but it doesn't do or say anything profound enough to go beyond that.
— Bonjour Tristesse