As far as modern Italian filmmaking goes, few names hold as much water as Paolo Sorrentino, the man behind the Oscar-anointed The Great Beauty. Last year, the director released his first English-language film, Youth, a gorgeous but shallow film starring the likes of Paul Dano, Michael Caine, and Harvey Keitel, but he’s been making movies for quite some time, some of which – Il Divo, The Consequences of Love – are very good. The Great Beauty, a visually dazzling yet dramatically thin riff on Fellini, remains his most celebrated work, but that might change with his latest work, The Young Pope, a mini-series about the first American pope, starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton.
The film is a co-production between Sky, Canal, and HBO, and the first teaser trailer for the series can be found right below. It looks great, but Sorrentino’s films always look great. It’s the writing that’s almost always the problem, despite the filmography hosting a large number of excellent performances. The plan right now is for Sky to release the mini-series in five territories, including UK and Ireland, with HBO releasing the series soon after, but no secured North American release date has been confirmed. Let’s hope we get one soon, because even if the writing is as tinny as that in Youth, The Young Pope has an immediately fascinating hook and an alluring, moody visual timbre.
Here’s the first trailer for The Young Pope:
Here’s HBO’s official synopsis for The Young Pope:
From Paolo Sorrentino, director of the Academy Award®-winning ‘The Great Beauty,’ ‘The Young Pope’ tells the controversial story of the beginning of Pius XIII’s pontificate. The eight-episode series stars Jude Law as the complex and conflicted Pius XIII, the first American pope. The cast includes Diane Keaton as Sister Mary, an American nun living in Vatican City, as well as Silvio Orlando, Scott Shepherd, Cécile de France, Javier Cámara, Ludivine Sagnier, Toni Bertorelli and James Cromwell.