Apr 2, 2013

Habemus Papam

When Pope Benedict XVI resigned, the film Habemus Papam [We have a Pope] by Nanni Moretti came to my mind. Habemus Papam is a comedy about the human limits of a holy man.
The movie opens with a papal conclave, a gathering of cardinals in the Sistine Chapel in order to select one of their own as head of the Roman Catholic Church. Amusingly enough, the same silent prayer is on the lips of nearly every candidate: "Not me, Lord, please!" (A sense of self in a leap of faith, by Michael O'Sullivan).
Mr. Moretti finds broad comedy in the antics of some clerics, who can seem as sweet as children, but in Melville there is pathos and there is tragedy, and not his alone (A Reluctant Pontiff  Escapes to the Streets, by Manohla Dargis).