The main selling point of this film in the publicity was that it had been directed by Nanni Moretti (of which more below). He also acts in the film, playing a psychoanalyst called in to assist a newly-elected Pope who feels overwhelmed by the responsibility thrust upon him.
I really enjoyed the levity with which the opening scene were handled – poking just the right amount of fun at the solemnity and pomp of the event without turning it into a farce. And the choice of ending was, in my view, very well executed and did make me gasp as it was not what I had been expecting.
The middle, however, was the weak link and definitely on the saggy side, wallowing a bit too light-heartedly on the Pope-elect’s internal battle with himself.
I wanted to find out more about Nanni Moretti, and was intrigued to see him described as “the scourge of the Italian establishment” (the Guardian), and “an outspoken political leftist” (Wikipedia). I was bemused! The film I watched bore no witness to this, and several reviews seem to think he had either sold out or lost an opportunity by making such a light-hearted film.
I have nothing to compare these views with so I will reserve judgement for the moment – but I need to find out more!