We Have a Pope (2011) Poster

We Have a Pope (2011)

  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 3,477 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 15 April 2011 (Italy)
  • Runtime: 102 min
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We Have a Pope (2011)


We Have a Pope 2011tt1456472.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: We Have a Pope (2011)
  • Rate: 6.9/10 total 3,477 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 15 April 2011 (Italy)
  • Runtime: 102 min
  • Filming Location: Cinecittà Studios, Cinecittà, Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • Gross: €56,996(Netherlands)(19 October 2011)
  • Director: Nanni Moretti
  • Stars: Michel Piccoli, Nanni Moretti and Jerzy Stuhr
  • Original Music By: Franco Piersanti   
  • Soundtrack: Todo Cambia
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Pope | Catholic Church | Cult Director | Maniac | Anton Chekhov

Writing Credits By:

  • Nanni Moretti (written by) and
  • Francesco Piccolo (written by) and
  • Federica Pontremoli (written by)

Known Trivia

    Plot: A story centered on the relationship between the newly elected Pope and his therapist. Full summary » |  »

    Story: At the Vatican, following the demise of the Pope, the conclave to elect his successor settles on Cardinal Melville. But the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square wait in vain for the new Pope to step out on the balcony. What is going on? Behind the thick walls of the Vatican panic has set in. After uttering a terrible howl of fear, the Cardinal refuses the office. The officials do everything to try to reason with Melville, including a psychoanalyst, appointed by the Vatican… Do we really have a Pope?Written by Guy Bellinger  

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Jean Labadie known as producer
    • Nanni Moretti known as producer
    • Domenico Procacci known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Michel Piccoli known as Il papa
    • Jerzy Stuhr known as Il portavoce
    • Renato Scarpa known as Cardinal Gregori
    • Franco Graziosi known as Cardinal Bollati
    • Camillo Milli known as Cardinal Pescardona
    • Roberto Nobile known as Cardinal Cevasco
    • Ulrich von Dobschütz known as Cardinal Brummer
    • Gianluca Gobbi known as Guardia svizzera
    • Nanni Moretti known as Lo psicoanalista
    • Margherita Buy known as La psicoanalista
    • Camilla Ridolfi known as Bambina
    • Leonardo Della Bianca known as Bambino
    • Dario Cantarelli known as Attore
    • Manuela Mandracchia known as Attrice
    • Rossana Mortara known as Attrice
    • Teco Celio known as Attore
    • Roberto De Francesco known as Attore
    • Chiara Causa known as Attrice
    • Mario Santella known as Cerimoniere
    • Toni Laudadio known as Capo gendarmeria (as Tony Laudadio)
    • Enrico Iannello known as Giornalista (as Enrico Ianniello)
    • Cecilia Dazzi known as Mamma
    • Lucia Mascino known as Commessa
    • Massimo Verdastro known as Vaticanista
    • Giulia Giordano known as Ragazza al bar
    • Francesco Brandi known as Barista
    • Giovanni Ludeno known as Portiere
    • Salvatore Miscio known as Prete
    • Salvatore Dell'Aquila known as Medico
    • Peter Boom known as Cardinale (as John Peter Boom)
    • Erik Merino known as Cardinale
    • Kevin Murray known as Cardinale
    • Harold Bradley known as Cardinale
    • Jalle Bruinsma known as Cardinale
    • Alfredo Cairo known as Cardinale
    • Leonardo Maddalena known as Ragazzo in autobus
    • Mauro Casanica known as Cardinale
    • Somasiry Jayamanne known as Cardinale
    • Piero Delfino Pesce known as Cardinale
    • Massimo Dobrovic known as Guardia svizzera
    • Maurizio Mannoni known as Himself
    • Riccardo Sinibaldi known as Attore
    • Pope John Paul II known as Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Massimo Allinoro known as additional hair stylist
    • Raffaella Iorio known as makeup artist
    • Silvia Persica known as makeup artist

    Art Department:

    • D'Ubaldi Cinzia known as digital intermediate assistant
    • Erminio Lauri known as art department
    • David Orlandelli known as storyboard artist
    • Melina Ormando known as first assistant art director
    • Gianpaolo Rifino known as assistant art director




    Production Companies:

    • Sacher Film
    • Fandango
    • Le Pacte
    • France 3 Cinéma
    • Rai Cinema (in collaboration with)
    • Canal+ (in collaboration with)
    • Coficup (in collaboration with) (as Sofica Coficup)
    • Backup Films (in collaboration with)
    • France Télévision (in collaboration with)
    • Eurimages (support) (funding)

    Other Companies:

    • Alf Service  lighting balloons service
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
    • Roma Film Orchestra  music performed by


    • 01 Distribution (2011) (Italy) (theatrical)
    • Alfa Films (2011) (Argentina) (theatrical)
    • Cinéart (2011) (Belgium) (theatrical)
    • Cinéart (2011) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
    • Frenetic Films (2011) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
    • GAGA (2011) (Japan) (theatrical)
    • Le Pacte (2011) (France) (theatrical)
    • Prokino Filmverleih (2011) (Germany) (theatrical)
    • Seven Films (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
    • Sundance Selects (2012) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
    • Midas Filmes (2011) (Portugal) (all media)
    • Transeuropa Video Entertainment (TVE) (2011) (Argentina) (DVD)
    • Vértigo Films (2011) (Spain) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • M.A.G. Special Effects

    Visual Effects by:

    • Gilberto Arpioni known as compositor
    • Francesca Baiardi known as visual effects coordinator
    • Andrea Baracca known as digital color timing
    • Francesca Bellettato known as compositor
    • Chiara Costantini known as compositor
    • Francesco Dell'Anna known as digital compositor
    • Stefano Ferrera known as visual effects artist
    • Saul Galbiati known as compositor
    • Denis Kosar known as compositor
    • Ali Moravec known as compositor
    • Jirí Sindelár known as compositor
    • Guido Tognoni known as visual effects artist
    • Ruggero Tomasino known as compositor
    • Mario Zanot known as visual effects supervisor

    Release Date:

    • Italy 15 April 2011
    • France 13 May 2011 (Cannes Film Festival)
    • Switzerland 20 May 2011 (Italian speaking region)
    • Russia 26 June 2011 (Moscow Film Festival)
    • France 1 July 2011 (La Rochelle Film Festival)
    • Czech Republic 2 July 2011 (Karlovy Vary Film Festival)
    • Poland 25 July 2011 (New Horizons Film Festival)
    • France 5 August 2011 (Lama Film Festival)
    • Greece 25 August 2011
    • Belgium 7 September 2011
    • France 7 September 2011
    • Switzerland 7 September 2011 (French speaking region)
    • Argentina 8 September 2011
    • Canada 15 September 2011 (Toronto International Film Festival)
    • Israel 15 September 2011
    • Norway October 2011
    • South Korea 7 October 2011 (Pusan International Film Festival)
    • Netherlands 13 October 2011
    • Brazil 21 October 2011 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
    • Spain 22 October 2011 (Valladolid Film Festival)
    • Poland 28 October 2011
    • France 29 October 2011 (Villerupt Italian Film Festival)
    • Spain 4 November 2011
    • Sweden 4 November 2011
    • Philippines 9 November 2011 (Italian Film Festival)
    • Philippines 14 November 2011 (Cinemanila International Film Festival)
    • Portugal 24 November 2011
    • Australia 1 December 2011
    • Ireland 2 December 2011
    • UK 2 December 2011
    • Germany 8 December 2011
    • Estonia 16 December 2011
    • Hungary 29 December 2011
    • Lithuania 30 December 2011
    • Peru 19 January 2012
    • Brazil 16 March 2012
    • USA 6 April 2012 (limited)
    • Serbia 26 April 2012
    • Slovenia 3 May 2012



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on April 6, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


    1. Iwould from Italy
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      This is a movie about an elderly man who has been chosen to be the nextPope. But, beware: the operative word in the previous sentence is"man", not "Pope", because the story is not about the challenges ofbeing (or becoming) Pope: the story is about the struggles of beinghuman. That's the reason why each and every one of us should be able toeasily follow and enjoy this funny, educated movie. Taking for grantedthat all the viewers will be men (and women) themselves, it will beeasy for everybody to get in touch with the doubts, the fears and thememories that the main character has to confront after he is called totake on himself one of the greatest responsibilities that the world hasto offer.

      Of course a lot of risks were involved in dealing with such issues asfaith and self confidence using such an unusual and peculiar subject.But, just like a slim young acrobat on a flying trapeze daring toattempt a difficult exercise, the movie achieves the result of tellingthis strange story with grace, with humor, with kindness, and with arespect for the themes involved that, I think, the faithful part of theaudience should be able to appreciate even more than those among us whowouldn't define themselves religious, or catholic.

      Furthermore, I can't resist to notice how funny it is that a movierealized by an openly atheist author depicts catholic hierarchy withsuch a sympathetic view – with tones much more friendly, I would say,than the ones of many mainstream blockbusters we have seen in recentyears. So, go watch this movie with confidence (it's an entertaining,interesting work of fiction), and trust (it's soft-spoken, andrespectful): you could take even your kids along – and, go figure, evenyour confessor!

    2. CountZero313 from Japan
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      Nanni Moretti's film has an interesting premise – what if the Cardinalelected Pope felt himself incapable of doing the job? That is anintriguing idea to explore, and you could do it as political drama orout-and-out farce. What you cannot do is have both. But more intriguingthan a man having an interior struggle with being elected God'srepresentative on Earth, would be the external struggles unleashed byhis public refusal to accept the office. That is where, unfortunately,Moretti's film ends – at the point where it should start.

      Meanwhile, imbecilic cardinals dance, clap their hands, throw hissyfits at card games and mess up in slow-mo volleyball. Is this pomp andcostume reduced to its ignoble essence, or just poor characterisation?The Pope goes walkabout and ends up hanging out with an acting troupe.Is this religion as grand theatre, or Roman Holiday for a topclergyman? Tone, theme and satirical targets all lack focus in thisunder-realised piece. Moretti's own character has one scene of comicfailure with the protagonist, and then seems merely to function as acutaway from the main plot line. Excising this psychiatrist completelywould go some way to tightening up a very disjointed piece.

      Michel Piccoli is engaging as the Cardinal encumbered with a crisis ofconfidence, but that performance gets lost in the narrative failingsthat frame it. Such is the lack of focus that audiences come awaywondering what the film is meant to be. A baffling film, and not in agood way.

    3. chaos-rampant from Greece
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      This is going to be one of the most watchable films of the year, aconversation piece to shoot the breeze around religion. It is about anew Pope elect who, after the elaborate ritual has drawn thousands ofpeople in anxious anticipation outside the Holy See, discovers that hecannot go out on the balcony and give his blessing. He cannot be whathe's expected to be.

      So the eye turns inwards for self-discovery. On that level the filmadopts a tone of melancholy yearning. It is sad, just to see a manweighed down by the will of god, possibly dismayed at the silence. Onthe flipside it is funny, when all the ordained officials are worriedabout is the ceremonial shibboleth or a cup of cappuccino. It isgenerally bittersweet with old life greeting itself from a pulpit thatdemands closure, revelation. Meanwhile conjecture and idle speculationare continuously throughout the film being blabbed from the TV.

      But does it matter, which is to say can it weigh down on us or instilla silence in which to seek our words? I'm not just idling here, what Imean is this; although enjoyable on a very plain level, melancholy withred curtains fluttering in absence, and since it competed with bothTree of Life and Melancholia this year at Cannes, does it offer its ownascetic images to contemplate?

      The answer is likely no, but not for failing to provide opportunities.Exemplified in two instances, double perspectives both; one is ofcourse at the beginning, with outside the triumph and celebration oforganized faith, faith in god's will, but from inside there is only theconfused, agitated mind of a plain man who must embody that will. Theother is when the cardinals rejoice that the Pope is finally doingbetter; but of course, from our perspective, we know that inside thechambers is only an even more plain man as substitute, baffled at hisnewfound importance. He stages behind the papal curtains a play oflight and shadow for the gathered congregation outside, this is afitting image of what Moretti is looking to exemplify.

      So in both cases we are directed to recognize a charade of profoundestdeception or false hope. Where god should be made manifest, we haveinstead the same hapless poor schmucks as the rest of us. There is nohigher wisdom, atheists will rejoice in this. Another opinion is thathis depiction of cardinals, despite the odd sour face, as kindly oldmen, overgrown children really, is not as scathing as some might havehoped.

      But the old man heard at the sermon, about the wisdom that comes fromhumility. Some weighs we let fall on our shoulders, because there's notwo ways around it. So even though this spiritual absence becomesdeafening in the finale, I just cannot embrace any of it.

      Catholicism may or may not deserve our modern scorn, but faith isn'tdoctrine. Faith being a personal attainment, it is not an old mangreeting us from a balcony.

    4. junkielee from Prague
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      Saw the film in yesterday's Febiofest opening ceremony, with NanniMoretti and Sandrine Bonnaire's presence to receive special achievementawards for their dedication of cinema.

      As a Cannes' underachiever last year, the film sports a vigorouscomedic sugar-coat from the very beginning, after a majesticallyspectacular funeral of the deceased Pope and ignites by a cardinal'spratfall in the dark, then the new-elected Pope, a dark horse as noneof the potential candidates are willing to take on the burden title (anunconvincing but laughable situation inside the chamber election) isnot prepared for the supreme responsibility and fails to bulk himselfup to soldier on his first public appearance for his election, thefarce has grown out of control, exaggerated by the stunt of the elopedPope roaming around Rome all by himself (unrecognized by the mass as noone is informed the name of the new Pope out of the Vatican), also theescaping procedure is too unpractical to exert for an octogenarianMichel Piccoli.

      The laughters are perpetual during the screen time, but Nanni Moretti'ssarcastic lightheartedness has gradually outrun his incisive judgement,the whole buffoonery of the cardinals and regularly repeated gags arerunning out of vitality, culminating a quirky self- consciousnessduring the slow-motions of each cardinals who are competing strenuouslyfor the international-tour of the volleyball competition set in theyard just beneath the Pope's chamber (each team is divided by regionsand the intelligence quotient of all these wise men are skepticallychallenged by the wide-eyed conversions. On the other hand, the Pope'sroute on the run also falls restrained (Mr. Piccolo's approachableperformance is a pro against the odds of the priority of a ridiculekeynote).

      The film could have got Michel Piccoli's surefire paramountaccomplishment during his over 65 years acting career span, which isremorsefully undermined by the willful levity of the film and thedenouement is too unorthodox to endorse even from an agnosticpoint-of-view.

    5. billcr12 from United States
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      We have a Pope, or Habemus Papem, starts with the death of the Pope andthe funeral procession at the Vatican. The scenery is spectacular withCardinals from all over the world reciting prayers. The story thenswitches to the voting for the new Pontiff. The election of the newVicar of Christ, played brilliantly by Michel Piccoli, is a veryinteresting concept.

      Piccoli has severe doubts as to his ability to lead the Catholic Churchand refuses to accept his fellow Cardinals decision appointing him tobe in charge of the great bureaucracy of Rome.

      The best psychiatrist in Italy is brought in to help the newly electedPope deal with his anxiety. He leaves the Vatican for a few days totravel incognito and find himself among the common people. I won'tcontinue so as not to spoil the rest of the film except to say that itremains interesting throughout. It never becomes preachy and the castis excellent, led by Michel Piccoli.

    6. Nick Suess from Perth, Australia
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      The one glaring plot hole in this charming movie is that in order tohave arisen to the rank of cardinal, the pope-elect must surely havefirst displayed more than his fair share of the characteristics ofambition and the desire to climb the slippery pole (no, no matter howappropriate it may seem, this is not a reference to the previousground-kissing guy in the job) to the top. But then it could be thatright there, three or four metres short of stepping onto the balcony tobe acclaimed by the faithful, he experienced his own personal 'Road toDamascus' moment, with the realisation that he was simply not up to theawesome task of leading such a vast global flock. However, if thesubtitles correctly translated his speech at he end, what he said thenwas that the entire pack of cardinals behind him was not up to the taskeither. To me that was a very pointed comment to sum up all we had seenin the preceding 90 minutes or so.

      That the college of cardinals was portrayed as a sort of boys' club wasa clever dramatic trick. Commenters here have asked why they weren'tacting out the roles of Machiavellian plotters, and I feel that Morettichose this depiction in order not to draw the viewer away from the mainplot of the pope's personal dilemma. There can be no doubt that duringthe election the two or three front runners displayed their desire towear the white skull cap, and disappointment when they felt it wasslipping away from them to a rank outsider, but Moretti left thepower-hungry story there.

      And so with what ultimately became a surreal display of old men inskirts playing volleyball, Moretti lampooned the Vatican and stated hisvery clear question – are these very strange elderly men even remotelysuitable to lead the hundreds of millions who still ascribe to theirbadly tarnished faith despite its amply demonstrated incapacity toembrace anything that has happened over the last five centuries, fromGalileo to gay rights?

    7. comment movie from Slovenia
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      This movie seams to be about the next Pope. And many would see thestory in some relation to the Chatolic Church or the faith. However itis not.

      It is about a person confronted with a situation which should be hismaybe the biggest challenge or even greatest honor but for some reasonit is not. It does not matter what is a cause of this dissociation. Itdoes not matter how serious the situation looks like in the eyes ofother people. In a specific moment, when the man realizes that it isjust not his life, everything looks like a charade. Even the veryimportance of the cardinals or expectations and worries of all thefollowers around the world.

      The movie guides spectators through the inner struggles of the personwho is still in doubt because of the outer image and because of thesocial pressures.

      In the contrary to the possible trivial ending that is so common inreal life, where we so often loose this inner struggles and just giveup, the main role next-to-be Pope succeeds in his efforts to find theway. There is no psychoanalysis, no politics and no dirty tricks of theadministration to break this man. He does not loose his faith and putshis future in the hands of God, believing that he will be understood.

      Sometimes such decisions require the strength of the man that couldeven be no-less but the Pope himself.

      On the other hand, there should be no situation in the world where youcould not say "NO, THANK YOU", if the next-to-be Pope can say NO to theworld and his God.

    8. writers_reign from London, England
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      … off on a Roman Holiday may well be the answer. It may or may not besignificant that Moretti is so easily able to reference two earlierfilms although not content with that he throws in a performance of TheSeagull albeit he depends upon the viewer knowing the opening dialogueof the Checkov play. Clearly this isn't everyone's cup of incense andthose, like myself, who delight in seeing Catholicism taken down a pegor twelve, may be mildly disappointed. It may well be that for anyonebrought up as a Catholic there me be references to be savoured thatelude those of other denominations but the central idea of a totaloutsider who is elected only because the three front-runners are tiedand then, thrust into the limelight, suffers a panic attack, isinteresting and verges towards the surreal via the analyst who issummoned but not allowed to probe too deeply into the patient's libidoand/or relationship with his parents, plus the game of volleyballplayed by the Cardinals to beguile the time until papa is inclined toaccept his role.

    9. velijn (jflaton@mac.com) from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
      06 Apr 2012, 2:31 am

      Moretti is an interesting director and his documentaries and movies(like "The Son's Room") shows us why. But what in the name of the HolySpirit is he trying to tell us here? To get a foothold inside theVatican, the nucleus of one of the great (well, at least by numbers)religions in the world, is a daunting task. It becomes clear that thedirector had been more interested in the the mindset of the man who'sto be the next pope, than in any political or human machinations of theelectors. We know our popes of the past – Peter O'Toole's or JohnGoodman's pope are a delight – but any effort to get into the innerworkings of the Vatican has eluded us: Preminger's "The Cardinal" andAnderson's "The Shoes of the Fisherman" just scratch the surface andare too reverential, so Fellini still steals the show with hisdelightful religious fashion show in "Roma".

      And that for a job description to head a congregation of over abillion, elected by a college of a mere hundred or so cardinals. Stufffor either historical pageantry (we all love our Borgias) or an insightinto the mindset of electors or popes-to-be, about why a job can makeor break a man, or how the past does influence your future. Insteadwe're offered the choice of an ass between two bales.

      Is it is meant to be a farce? Then the bunch of actors hired to play abunch of totally idiotic cardinals playing volley-ball in the aftermathof the conclave are right fitting in. But because of that it is verydifficult to sympathize with the turmoils of a Pope-to-be with thoseallusions to All the world's a stage, the heavy references to Chekhovand all that. I mean, who wants to be a pope over this lot oftwittering morons? And Piccoli is certainly not a fool, but a tormentedsoul who seems to have lost his confidence and the past. How does thatfit in with farce? With a bunch of blabbering idiots playing pinocchioor volley-ball and a man in crisis? So, is it then meant to be aprobing insight into the soul of a man who's thrown into this world asthe next Pontiff? Is this a probe into the turmoils of a Pope-to-be -by the way, gently played by Piccolli – with allusions to All theworld's a stage, the heavy references to Chekhov and all that? Afterall, apart from power-hungry popes in fiction, it is indeed an almostinhumane job. Then the bunch of actors hired to play a bunch of totallyidiotic cardinals inside the conclave or playing volley-ball in theaftermath are totally unbelievable. They deny us any symphatising withthe main character as we're lead to believe that some of the mostpowerful men in the world are blabbering idiots playing pinocchio.Alas, the director, playing the part of an atheistic psycho-analist,fits right in with this cardinal bunch.

      The director should have known that the real world is barging in withalmost every frame, with a church and its board of managers wadingthrough a lot of controversial items. As a viewer you can't excludethat: we don't live in a vacuum. Moreover, the allusions to John XXII,Paul VI and John-Paul I are drawn with heavy strokes indeed.

      So, we're stuck between two bales of hay. Bad choice. The directorcouldn't make an artistic choice and left us with no choice at all. Inthe end we can understand the Pope's decision, but not because we carefor him or his struggle, but who in his or her right mind would governa church with a council of idiots? Mmm… that may be the point thedirector is making?

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