The Two Popes (2019)
The Two Popes is a film about fraternisation, atonement and progression, told through the bond between the last two heads of the Catholic Church, but reflecting the Church itself and its place in the modern era. The story may well have been bent into shape to some degree, since so much of it is based on confidential conversations between Joseph Ratzinger and Jorge Mario Bergoglio, but director Fernando Meirelles (Cidade de Deus, The Constant Gardener) shows so much compassion and willingness to understand and harmonize that his good intentions cover up any fabrication Anthony McCarten's script may contain. And besides, it's not really the relationship between these two popes that's on trial here, but rather the Catholic Church as an organization. That being said, the film is not at all critical towards religion; it hails humanity's ability for compassion and empathy, even in times of adversity. If that sounds all too cordial, it's not. The Two Popes is a clever little film, fortified and given emotional resonance by the solid, sensitive performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce in the title roles.