Habemus Papam: What a delicious premise: a freshly elected Pope decides he’s not up to the job. Italian provocateur Nanni Moretti (Caro Diaro, The Son’s Room) directs himself as an atheist shrink who’s hired to psychoanalyze the paralyzed Pope (Michel Piccoli) in the Vatican. Too bad that relationship didn’t take over the film. But then it would be The Pope’s Speech—not Moretti’s style. Instead, the Pontiff escapes into the streets of Rome, rides the bus incognito, and contemplates his failed ambitions as an actor. Piccoli delivers a masterful, career-capping performance in this funny, touching, and willfully underwhelming satire. Call it The Old Man and the (Holy) See.
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