A special presentation at this year’s 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, director Nanni Moretti’s We Have A Pope is a comedic, sparkling peek into the inner workings of the Vatican.
The title refers to the election of a new pope, with Moretti imagining the various backstage machinations entailed in this highly confidential process. The result is a magnificent blend of high-concept humour with a deeply affecting portrait of a man elected to an office that carries crushing responsibilities.
The man they’ve chosen, Cardinal Melville (Michel Piccoli, best known from Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt), was not the front-runner and never expected to be offered the position. Petrified by the enormity of the role, he turns away from addressing the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, effectively rejecting the papacy.
The Vatican’s spokesman finds himself drawing on all his ingenuity to solve the ensuing crisis. He calls in a respected psychiatrist, played by Moretti, to find out what is ailing the new Pope. Is it just nerves or something much more serious?
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 marvellous insight into the concept of a man existing behind the title of God’s representative on Earth.
The films for the Comox Valley Art Gallery-Toronto International Film Festival fall series are:
Sept. 16, 5 p.m. — We Have a Pope
Directed by Nanni Moretti, Drama/Comedy, Unrated, Runtime 1 hr. 44 min, Country: Italy, Language: Italian (English subtitles).
Sept. 30, 5 p.m. — Headhunters
Directed by Morten Tyldum, Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense, Rated R, Runtime: 1 hr. 41 min, Country: Norway/Germany, Language: Norwegian/Danish/Russian/English (English subtitles).
Oct. 14, 5 p.m. — Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry
Directed by Alison Klayman, Documentary, Rated R, Runtime: 1 hr. 31 min, Country: USA, Language: English/Mandarin (English subtitles).
Oct. 28, 5 p.m. — Beasts of the Southern Wild
Directed by Benh Zeitlin, Drama/Fantasy, Rated PG-13, Runtime 1 hr. 31 min, Country: USA, Language: English.
Nov. 11, 5 p.m. — Midnight’s Children
Directed by Deepa Mehta, Written by Salman Rushdie (adaptation/novel), Drama, Unrated, Country: Canada Language: English, Hindi, Urdu (English subtitles).
Film tickets are available at the CVAG gift shop and Videos N More in Comox. If the film does not sell out, tickets will also be available in the Rialto Theatre lobby before the film — cash only, exact change appreciated. CVAG members, please show your member card to get the discount.
All films are on Sundays at 5 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre in Courtenay at Driftwood Mall and are fundraisers for the Comox Valley Art Gallery. For updates and more information on the films, visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com or call 250-338-6211.
— Comox Valley Art Gallery