×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Telluride: Audience Laughs and Cries During ‘The Two Popes’ World Premiere

Little did the audience at the world premiere of “The Two Popes” know that the papal two-hander is actually very funny.

No, it’s not a comedy, but the jokes and ribbing between Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and the future pope, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce), played well in the packed Chuck Jones’ Cinema, as did hearing Abba’s “Dancing Queen” played over footage of the College of Cardinals making its way into the Vatican for the Papal election.

In other words, director Fernando Meirelles’ film, inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign and subsequent transfer of power to the more progressive Cardinal Bergoglio, is not a straight drama. Although the film did earn the audience’s admiration, and some sniffles toward its end.

A quick survey of audience members, including Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, described Hopkins and Pryce’s work as a “masterclass” in acting, but will Hopkins and Pryce make it to the Oscars?

Netflix certainly hopes so, especially as the season shapes up to be a tight race between high-profile performances from actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Adam Driver in Netflix’s “Marriage Story,” Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in the still-to-be-seen “The Irishman” (also Netflix) and Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker,” which received an eight-minute standing ovation on Saturday night at the Venice Film Festival.

Heaven knows why “The Two Popes” didn’t premiere at Venice. If anything seemed tailor-made for the Italian fest it was a movie about the supreme pontiff. But comedy aside, Meirelles said during the intro of the film that he was interested in Pope Francis because of his progressiveness and social activism.

“I’m feeling that there’s something out of place in the world,” he said, before praising Pope Francis for “building bridges” during a time when certain leaders (he didn’t name names) are more interested in dividing people with “physical walls, economic walls and technical walls.”

Written by Oscar-nominated “Darkest Hour” screenwriter Anthony McCarten, Meirelles said, “This film is about tolerance and learning to listen to one another.”

Pryce acknowledged that “The Two Popes” was a “unique films these days…two old men talking about politics and morality.”

He added, “This film needs to be seen.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct Live-Action 'Pinocchio' for Disney (EXCLUSIVE)

    Robert Zemeckis is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio.” Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz will produce through their company Depth of Field with Weitz penning the script. “Paddington” director Paul King had originally been tapped to direct but had to leave the project for unknown reasons at the beginning of the year. David [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content