Magazine article U.S. Catholic

We Have a Pope

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

We Have a Pope

Article excerpt

We HAVE A Pope

Directed by Nanni Moretti (Sundance Selects, 2012)

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Nanni Moretti's lighthearted and melancholic comedy introduces us to a gentle and frail cleric who would not be pope--even though the college of cardinals has just elected him to serve as St. Peter's successor. After a long and contested consistory, the gathered flock of cardinals set their choice on French Cardinal Melville (Michel Poccoli), but just as the new pope is to be introduced to the crowd in St. Peter's Square, we hear a cry of anguish from the frightened pontiff, who bolts from the room like a runaway bride.

The pope's miter is a frightening cup for Melville, and he balks at the idea of taking up the burden of caring for a billion Catholic souls. To calm their anxious prelate and encourage Melville to take up his holy office, the cardinals bring in a psychologist. When this strategy fails, Melville goes in civilian dress to another therapist, telling her that he is an actor with anxiety about his new role. …

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