- Actors: Jude Law, Diane Keaton, James Cromwell
- Directors: Paolo Sorrentino
- Format: Box set, PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 4
- Studio: Spirit Entertainment Limited
- DVD Release Date: 26 Dec. 2016
- Run Time: 480 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 99 customer reviews
- ASIN: B01M0SUKZC
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,345 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The Young Pope
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Jude Law and Diane Keaton star in this drama that was created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Youth, The Great Beauty)
Lenny Belardo, aka Pius XIII, is the first American Pope in history. Young and charming, his election might seem the result of a simple and effective media strategy by the College of Cardinals. But, as we know, appearances can be deceptive. Especially in the place and among the people who have chosen the great mystery of God as the guiding light of their existence. That place is the Vatican and those people are the leaders of the Catholic Church. And the most mysterious and contradictory figure of all turns out to be Pius XIII himself. Shrewd and naïve, old-fashioned and very modern, doubtful and resolute, ironic, pedantic, hurt and ruthless, Pius XIII tries to walk the long path of human loneliness to find a God for mankind. And for himself.
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This show has high production values, is well directed, and is excellently acted. The story is a little slow going at times, but the overall storyline is fascinating. Overall, this show offers a blend of drama, comedy and social commentary. I enjoyed the way that, as time passes, the Pope starts to use his authority to bring about positive change ... and, in so doing, he does himself change. He becomes a better person, and starts to view both the Church and his role somewhat differently.
Fortunately, a season 2 is in the works. And I look forward to the continuation of this series.
Result? Those who used to cram the Square for a Papal blessing now stay away. Cardinals despair and plot removal.
Pius XIII has thus generally alienated, no doubt some viewers included. I found it hard to know what to make of it all. A black comedy - as possibly suggested by most of the opening credits ending with his giving us a wink and a smirk? Certainly there are funny moments. But also there is much deadly serious, occasionally very moving indeed. Puzzling throughout is how he ever came to be elected - the explanation given not really convincing (he preferred to the other main option). Did nobody around him suspect he was in considerable need of therapy - obsessed with thoughts of the parents who abandoned him when young.
Much may confuse - here a mixture of stunning visuals, dreams, fantasies, memories - and, some would claim, pretentiousness masquerading as style. There is even a miracle or two.
Throughout Jude Law himself is always of interest. Diane Keaton impresses as Sister Mary, virtually a mother to him at the orphanage (and ever since). Silvio Orlando excels as the top aide with ever-increasing doubts, his personal life with aspects that surprise.
Some may find attitudes depicted here often a very far cry from what Jesus taught. Others may regret the emphasis on what seems much self-conscious showiness which at times threatens to swamp important issues raised.
Make of this series what you will. Many have acclaimed.
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