English Title: We Have a Pope
Original Title: Habemus Papam
Language: Italian, German, Latin
Country: Italy, France
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Director: Nanni Moretti
Music: Franco Piersanti
Cinematography: Alessandro Pesci
Ulrich von Dobschütz
Saw the film in yesterday’s Febiofest opening ceremony, with Nanni Moretti and Sandrine Bonnaire’s presence to receive special achievement awards for their dedication of cinema.
As a Cannes’ underachiever last year, the film sports a vigorous comedic sugar-coat from the very beginning, after a majestically spectacular funeral of the deceased Pope and ignites by a cardinal’s pratfall in the dark, then the new-elected Pope, a dark horse as none of the potential candidates are willing to take on the burden title (an unconvincing but laughable situation inside the chamber election) is not prepared for the supreme responsibility and fails to bulk himself up to soldier on his first public appearance for his election, the farce has grown out of control, exaggerated by the stunt of the eloped Pope roaming around Rome all by himself (unrecognized by the mass as no one is informed the name of the new Pope out of the Vatican), also the escaping procedure is too unpractical to exert for an octogenarian Michel Piccoli.
The laughters are perpetual during the screen time, but Nanni Moretti’s sarcastic lightheartedness has gradually outrun his incisive judgement, the whole buffoonery of the cardinals and regularly repeated gags are running out of vitality, culminating a quirky self-consciousness during the slow-motions of each cardinals who are competing strenuously for the international-tour of the volleyball competition set in the yard just beneath the Pope’s chamber (each team is divided by regions and the intelligence quotient of all these wise men are skeptically challenged by the wide-eyed conversions. On the other hand, the Pope’s route on the run also falls restrained (Mr. Piccolo’s approachable performance is a pro against the odds of the priority of a ridicule keynote).
The film could have got Michel Piccoli’s surefire paramount accomplishment during his over 65 years acting career span, which is remorsefully undermined by the willful levity of the film and the denouement is too unorthodox to endorse even from an agnostic point-of-view.