Updated: May 26
The Two Popes was directed by Fernando Meirelles and stars Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce as two men who, despite their different political views, become great friends.
Starting things off strong, The Two Popes' editing and direction create a film that plays with time beautifully. It blends seamlessly between different time periods in a similar fashion to Little Women, but unlike Little Women it never becomes confusing. The shifts in time are always there for a reason and timed perfectly in the story. They don't kill the pacing like many do for other movies and they help develop the characters while further investing the audience in the story being told on screen.
Speaking of the editing, wow. There are multiple instances where a character is doing virtually nothing on screen but the editing makes the scene very fun, with very quick cuts to help make the scene more entertaining. And, as we mentioned earlier, it plays with time beautifully.
The acting is also fantastic, especially in regards to Anthony Hopkins, who kills it once more. All actors involved do their jobs well in delivering emotionally gut-punching scenes and making the audience care for the people they are portraying.
But the standout feature of this film is above all the script. It is practically perfect, being funny and very emotional at the same time, with quirky elements and tear-jerking moments. It tells a beautifully written story that is both entertaining and heart-wrenching, and it does it masterfully.
Things get a little muckier with the cinematography, however. It is insanely inconsistent. Many shots are framed beautifully and you can tell lots of thought was put into them, while it is clear that others were rushed and shot in hand-held mode to save time. Seriously, some shots in this movie are stunning, but others are just bland, lifeless, and ugly.
The set is gorgeous, however. Each garden, church, and everything in between is rich with color and fits the film perfectly. And, while the detail is minor, the costumes the characters are wearing are superb.
Overall, The Two Popes is a beautiful historical drama and is a recommended picture by all of us here at The CinemaScope.
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