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We Have A Pope

We Have A Pope

A Special Presentation at this year’s 2011 Toronto International Film Festival®, director Nanni Moretti’s Habemus Papam is a comedic, sparkling peek into the inner work¬ings of the Vatican. The title refers to the election of a new Pope, with Moretti imagining the various backstage machinations entailed in this highly confi¬dential process. The result is a magnificent blend of high-concept humour with a deeply affecting portrait of a man elected to an office that carries crushing responsibilities. The man they’ve chosen, Cardinal Melville (Michel Piccoli, best known from Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt), was not the front-runner and never expected to be offered the position. Petrified by the enormity of the role, he turns away from addressing the faith¬ful in St. Peter’s Square, effectively rejecting the papacy. The Vatican’s spokesman finds himself drawing on all his ingenuity to solve the ensuing crisis. He calls in a respected psychiatrist, played by Moretti, to find out what is ailing the new Pope. Is it just nerves or something much more serious? 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 man existing behind the title of God’s representative on Earth. Moretti – best known for 2001’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Son’s Room - has always been able to balance a fine sense of irony and humour with a deep and abiding humanism, and these qualities are evident in abundance in Habemus Papam. He is ably assisted by 85-year old Piccoli’s standout sensitive portrait of a man caught in a conundrum both exis¬tential and political. And yet, amid these weighty reflections, comedy keeps bubbling to the surface.

 

Critical Notes

“This new film is not only masterfully put together -- from the shots of distraught believers in St Peter's Square to the Pope's therapy sessions with a female psychiatrist who doesn't know who he is -- but most of all, it is hilarious, having already elicited many a chuckle in its Italian [release].” – Karin Badt, Huffington Post

 

Film Information

Director: Nanni Moretti
Cast:: Michel Piccoli, Nanni Moretti and Jerzy Stuhr 
Year: 2011
Runtime: 102 
Country: Italy
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Distributor: Entertainment One
Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR

 

Screenings

DateCircuit CentreLocation

* Represents an approximate date. Please consult local listings.