‘The Two Popes’ Review: A Scattered Bout of Spiritual Sparring

Do the principles of God change with the shifting tides of culture? This theological question is at the heart of The Two Popes. As unanswerable as the question may be, it presents an engaging-if-scattered platform for the spiritual sparring that Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins devour. Directed by Fernando Meirelles with the kind of hyperactivity that worked so well in his kinetic breakthrough City of God, that trait is unfortunately not helped here with Anthony McCarten’s script, which attempts to pack a life’s worth of history in between a few conversations.

The life at the center of the story–which takes place over many decades, but mostly 2012–is that of Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pryce), who is not shy about his desire for the Catholic Church to change their stodgy, conservative ways. As the planet is being destroyed and the inequality gap continues to grow, the world
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