Pope John Paul II
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This epic film follows Karol Wojtyla's journey from his youth in Poland through his late days on the Chair of St. Peter. It explores his life behind the scenes: how he touched millions of people and changed the face of the Church and the world; how he defended the dignity of mankind. Jon Voight's powerful, Emmy-nominated performance as John Paul II was widely praised, as was Cary Elwes as the young Karol. Shot on location in Rome and Poland in close connection with the Vatican, this is the definitive epic film on the life of Pope John Paul II. DVD includes Spanish subtitles and special sixteen-page collectible booklet. Closed captioned.
Watching this film has renewed in me a sense of profound gratitude to God for having given the Church and the world a Pope of such an exalted human and spiritual nature. --Pope Benedict XVI
"Writer-director John Kent Harrison wisely finds a narrative focus... as the pope stares down the unraveling Soviets hoping to help free his native Poland. More than anything, Voight's performance... taps into John Paul's emotional life... it's a remarkable performance." --Variety
"Succeeds brilliantly... it does reveal why most of those who criticized [Pope John Paul II] also loved him." --Pittsburg Post-Gazette
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The lead actors are excellent and the pope's devoted assistant and his secretary of state are especially interesting. Karol Wojtyla's fellow cardinals from Poland are played powerfully by Christopher Lee (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings) and James Cromwell (Babe).
On the down side, this was made as a TV movie and the budget limitations show in a number of the crowd scenes. Sadly incongruent with the overall quality.