Netflix has released the trailer for The Two Popes. The film is based on the true events that lead to the retirement of Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) and the ascension of Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) to the papacy.
Watching this trailer, I’m curious what direction Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and screenwriter Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour) are taking with the material. There seems to be a concerted effort to display the humanity of these two towering figures and show them as people with self-doubt and modest interests. Sure, they may be the spiritual leaders of 1.2 billion people, but they also like The Beatles. And yet that quaintness rings a bit hollow and I don’t know how you get around the wide-ranging scandal of Catholic priests sexually abusing young boys with the Church coordinating a coverup to simply move offenders around rather than deal with the abuse directly. I can’t help but wonder if this is a movie solely for Catholics and how they view their spiritual leader or if it has themes that will appeal to those outside of the faith.
Check out The Two Popes trailer below. The film arrives in select theaters on November 27th and on Netflix on December 20th.
Here’s the official synopsis:
From Fernando Meirelles, the Academy Award-nominated director of “City of God,” and three-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten, comes an intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal 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, as these two very different men confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world.