Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Tragi-comic; very moving & very funny
on 4 February 2012
I went into this with an open mind and found myself helplessly laughing out loud on about three occasions, and greatly moved on several more.
Although it's about the election of the Pope, it doesn't mock Catholicism, it is about an old man's bewilderment and isolation. Here's when I laughed: When the atheist pschyiatrist (played by Moretti) quotes Job to the Cardinals (and not the other way round); when the Swiss Guard given the job of impersonating the Pope in his appartment greatly overplays his role; the way the volleyball game develops, with all the participants taking it very seriously by the end. I was greatly moved at the scene when the Pope was talking to himself on the bus/underground/some form of public transport. I thought the way in which the Chekhov play was worked into the plot was just so skilful - the Pope, who says he would have liked to be an actor, happens to know all the lines and the principal actor, just like the Pope, is in mental anguish.
I do agree with the other reviewer who said that the ending is a bit disappointing, but as I can't suggest a better one, I'm not complaining about it. This was my first film by Nanni Moretti and I'll definitely make a point of watching others. It was also beautifully acted.