Hawking, Churchill, Queen and now The Two Popes

Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins take a lighthearted look at papal authority in a “buddy” movie.

Critics say their performance is a “masterclass” in acting.

The Two Popes is a Netflix movie written by novelist and screenwriter Anthony McCarten.

Born and raised in New Plymouth, McCarten attended Francis Douglas Memorial College and went on to study for an Arts degree at Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, where he studied creative writing with Bill Manhire.

McCarten is best known for writing the biographical films The Theory of Everything (Stephen Hawking), Darkest Hour (Winston Churchill), and Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen).

Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign and subsequent transfer of power to the more progressive Cardinal Bergoglio was the inspiration for director Fernando Meirelles.

Facing scandal and self-doubt, Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and the future successor to Rome.

He reveals a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church.

Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness.

The two very different men confront elements from their pasts to find common ground and forge a future for the Church.

The Two Popes is not a straight drama. There is an element of comedy.

The endearing chemistry between the characters and the movie’s breezy tone often clashes with the subject at hand.

The two characters exchange jokes and rib each other.

And the Cardinals make their way into the Vatican for the papal elections to the tune of Abba’s Dancing Queen.

Meirelles said during the intro of the film at the world premiere that he was interested in Pope Francis because of his progressiveness and social activism.

“I feel that there’s something out of place in the world,” he said.

He praises Pope Francis for “building bridges” during a time when certain leaders (he didn’t name names) are more interested in dividing people with “physical walls, economic walls and technical walls.”


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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