Movie: "Habemus Papam" or "We Have a Pope"

This movie just opened in the US, after a run in several European countries. I don’t think it will get a very large theatrical release here in the States. Has anyone seen it or plan to see it?

Here is the review which ran yesterday on at least one National Public Radio program.

When the College of Cardinals gathers in the Vatican to choose a new church leader — formally the Bishop of Rome — it announces its selection with the Latin phrase “Habemus papam” (“We have a pope”).

But suppose that, when a cardinal steps out onto a balcony in St. Peter’s Square to utter those fateful words, the gentle soul in white sitting behind him, out of sight of the crowd, develops stage fright.

That’s basically what happens in Nanni Moretti’s gently humane comedy about a humbled elderly gentleman and the institution his doubts put in crisis. The abilities the cardinals see in him, he doesn’t see. So he buries his head in his hands, mutters “I can’t do this,” and runs down the hall.

The great French actor Michel Piccoli is sweetly sympathetic as the man who would not be pope, and director Nanni Moretti has cast himself as the agnostic psychiatrist who kind of enjoys butting heads with cardinals, though not so much being sequestered with them.

According to, the film has been released in seven languages, including Latin. :o

I can see it happening. In the book “Pontiff” it is said that JPI said to the College of Cardinals “May God forgive you for what you have done”.

I heard about this a little while ago. Hopefully it’ll be more widespread in the UK and Canada as well, so I can see it. But, maybe it will hit of big. You just don’t know!

A colleague sent me a note about this one. She said it reminded her of my novel “Pope Bob.”

It’s available here.

Just in case this thread gets lost in the shuffle, I just read a review by Roger Ebert. He’s quite respectful and thinks the movie is a good one.


It needs to be shown here in Asia. :slight_smile:

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