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We Have a Pope

3.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Nanni Moretti (THE SON'S ROOM; CARO DIARIO) joins forces with the great French actor Michel Piccoli (CONTEMPT; I'M GOING HOME) to tell the story of Melville; a cardinal who suddenly finds himself elected as the next Pope. Never the front runner and completely caught off guard; he panics as he's presented to the faithful in St. Peter's Square. To prevent a world wide crisis; the Vatican's spokesman calls in an unlikely psychiatrist who is neither religious or all that committed; played by Moretti; to find out what is wrong with the new Pope. As the world nervously waits outside; inside the therapist tries to find a solution. But Cardinal Melville is adamant: he does not want the job; or at least needs time to think it over. What follows is a marvelous insight into the concept of a human being existing behind the title of Godas representative on Earth. WE HAVE A POPE is the latest film by Moretti to make wonderful use of humor while dealing with serious issues and continue to showcase his deep humanism.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Stuhr
  • Directors: Nanni Moretti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008B9JSD2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,934 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on September 19, 2012
Format: DVD
I was highly impressed with this gem of a film, one that obviously understood the beauty of a subtle and meaningful approach to a controversial subject without shying away from inserting needed moments of humor and charm. Tackling the idea of doubt, insecurity and wavering faith, `We Have a Pope' addresses a concern that may not be thought of very often but one that deserves our attention. By centering the affair on a newly elected Pope who feels inadequate and quite frankly overwhelmed by the assignment bestowed on him by God, `We Have a Pope' adds a serious depth to the age-old topic of personal spirituality. With a blisteringly authentic performance by Michael Piccoli, this beautiful film moves with grace and highlights emotional assertions that one cannot help but feel akin to. Piccoli should be up for Oscar consideration, but that won't happen. The way he balances out this conflicted man's fears and enchantments is astonishing to watch. Such a soulful performance, one imbued with sharp passion and integrity. At the end of the day, `We Have a Pope' never backs away or exposes a lazy or easy out but instead rounds out to a moment of responsibility that shines bright despite the crushing reality of the decision made (crushing on most, but freeing for one). It is a beautiful film that remains provoking while wholly entertaining; something most films strive to be but fail miserably to become.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is about decisions and choices. What happens when everything you ever wanted is offered to you?Most of us would accept it. What happens if you know within your heart that you are not the one? Would you be willing to stand as a minority of one to say, "I'm not up to it." It can be a moment when we face a fork in the road. A moment when we know no matter what our choice is, we will never be the same again. That is the question that "We Have a Pope" keeps asking. It holds a mirror to our own souls.

This movie begins in the conclave of cardinals to choose a new pope. The cardinals are in a deadlock.
Again and again, they try to arrive at consensus. They can't. They choose a compromise candidate instead. The new Pope is aging, very kind, and bemused by it all. When he learns the news of his elevation, he screams and passes out. Against all urging, he knows that he is not the one to be Pope. Its not stage fright but his deep personal conviction. What does he do? He slips out of the conclave and onto the streets of Rome. He encounters people of all kinds. He asks himself is he one to be Pope? Or would he rather have a simpler life?

This is a gentle, spiritual, and humorous movie. Its most amusing moments as the church officials try to explain the absence of the new pope. Its most touching moments are as the new Pope discovers his path.

But is makes its point: all of us need to follow the journey to find our true selves. If you are a Christian, it means finding your soul. Alan Minarcik
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Format: DVD
This unusual and sad tale does a really nice job of recreating the pomp and circumstance of Vatican rituals and politics. There is a strong farcical element, however, that takes up too much viewing time and detracts from the seriousness of the story--namely a wacky psychoanalyst organizing a volleyball tournament for the Cardinals. Otherwise, this film is pretty unique and provides some useful philosophical food for thought.
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Format: DVD
I can't imagine how Mr. Moretti must be feeling right now. He makes this excellent movie about a pope-elect that has serious doubts about whether he is able to perform his duties and a couple of years later a sitting pope announces his resignation, the first in 600 years.
However, amazing as this movie's timing is, there are plenty of other good reasons to enjoy it, starting with Michel Piccoli's career-best performance. Nanni Moretti does his usual great work as actor and director.
As an atheist myself, I can say that no matter what religious beliefs you do or do not have, this movie can make you laugh, cry and think like very few others.
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Format: DVD
"Habemus Papam" ("We Have a Pope") is an Italian comedy drama directed by Nanni Moretti ("The Son's Room"). Michel Piccoli plays Cardinal Melville, who, after being elected Pope, insists that he cannot take the office and flees the conclave. The story may remind you of a William Wyler classic, but the intriguing premise is less effectively used here.

The director's bold attempt to portray a pope as a human is a worthy one, but his approach is tame at best. Michel Piccoli is wonderful as Cardinal Melville, but even the veteran player like Piccoli cannot make the character of Cardinal Melville credible, because the unfocused script fails to delve into his personality as deeply as it should. His interactions with people in Rome do not reveal much about the person for which the film is made. The reference to a stage drama (Chekhov ... what else?) is too obvious. After all, we are all actors.

Moretti himself plays a psychiatrist, who is called in to talk to the newly elected pope (while other cardinals are watching). The nicely understated comic scene is pretty funny, but his character overstays its welcome and becomes a little annoying when he starts organizing a volleyball tournament for the cardinals. This subplot adds nothing to the film's intriguing theme.

I think there is nothing that would offend the viewers. Not one person is described in a negative light. I respect Moretti's decision to tell the story in this way, but maybe he went too far. Despite the interesting idea, the film's narrative lacks the emotion and tension between the characters, most of whom look one-dimensional. How would other cardinals feel and react (when we know through their voiceovers that most of them, like Cardinal Melville, did not want to be elected), for instance?
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