‘Popes’ High Hopes: Oscar Eyes Rare Trip to the Vatican

  • Variety
‘Popes’ High Hopes: Oscar Eyes Rare Trip to the Vatican
In 91 years, no one has ever been Oscar-nominated for playing a pope. That could change this year if Jonathan Pryce (lead actor) and Anthony Hopkins (supporting) are recognized for the crowd-pleasing “The Two Popes,” as, respectively, Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI.

The film depicts their mutual wariness, which turns into friendship. And thanks to director Fernando Meirelles and writer Anthony McCarten, it also packs a punch in dealing with the men’s very different socio-political backgrounds.

The Two Popes” sounds like a TV movie that would be shown on cable every Easter. In fact, Italian TV has done a bevy of papal biopics over the years, and America has had a hand in several, including Jon Voight (!) in the 2005 “Pope John Paul II” miniseries.

But Vatican City has rarely appeared on the big screen. “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (1965) and “The Shoes of the Fisherman” (1968) were both intended as
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