Have you ever wondered what took place when the conclave of cardinals met behind closed doors, to elect the next pope? I bet it was not a howling scream followed by running out of the room. That was exactly the reaction of Cardinal Melville, upon learning he was chosen to become Il Papa. The performance by Michel Piccoli (Boxes, Restless) was worthy of the role in this satire. With the dumbfounded cardinals at a loss on how to proceed, pressure was being added by the eager spectators waiting outside to see the newly elected pope. Just to be clear, the movie really did not focus on the Catholic church as much as it delved into Cardinal Melville’s fears about the responsibilities being placed on him. Though the scene of the cardinals playing volleyball to pass the time was amusing to me. But I think that was the problem with this film; it did not know whether to be a comedy or more of a drama. I felt the scenes were dragged out and found myself being bored more than a few times. The concept was a good idea; however, it was not executed well. As anxious as the mass of onlookers were to see the new pope, I was just as anxious waiting for the end of this film. Italian with English subtitles.
2 1/4 stars