Sorrentino is masterful at creating arresting shots, irresistible images, compelling scenes, spectacular situations, and memorable episodes. He just can't build extended, prolonged compelling narratives. The Young Pope would have worked better as a 2 hour movie. Sans Kubrick-like finale, please.
Jude Law is a perfect cast, completely incarnating this character that constantly crosses the line between faith and skepticism, protocol and rebellion, villainy and tenderness, human and saint. With a strong cast filled with scene-stealers like Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando and Cécile de France, Sorrentino films people and places with majestic grace and bold soundtrack choices. What an amazing ride... hallelujah!
Ambitious television to be sure and Jude Law is great (why No Emmy nomination?) but I am conflicted by the overwhelming fact that this complex character deserves a 2nd draft in the screenplay dept. regarding what emerges storywise (especially in the last few episodes).Satisfying overall but it feels unfocused in the middle and Diane Keaton's part was underused although she was great given what she had to work with.
This should give you an idea of what the Catholic Church was like at various points in history. The most unfortunate aspect of this evil pope is his power to work miracles, as if God was approving his behavior. It's a good illustration of "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." I realize it's a provocation, but I have no interest in seeing him again.
The Young Pope from start to finish is nothing short of a Kafkaesque masterpiece. There is so much dynamism within the psyche of Jude Law's Pope Pius XIII--he's the kind of character that grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Every shot, every word that is spoken is so deliberate and purposeful; and the ending is incredibly ambiguous and beautiful. Sorrentino is a master.
"Esther, I love God because it is so painful to love human beings. I love a God that never leaves me. God, the absence of God, always reassuring and definitive. I am a priest, I have renounced my fellow man, my fellow women,because I don’t want to suffer,because I’m incapable of withstanding the heartbreak of love. It would be wonderful to love you the way you want to be loved, but it’s not possible. "
I have to admit, after YOUTH I was scared; could Sorrentino make something comparable to the Great Beauty. The answer is yes. This series gets better as it goes on. What starts as an interesting premise and an amusing set-up ends up elevating a whole medium of art. Yes, I think this is up there with the Sopranos and the Wire. Different in tone - but no less intricate, or beautiful. Who knew Jude Law was that good?