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 is cinema on highest level! Terrific, wonderful cast, without exception. Stunning camera. Exquisite set-up with enormous attention to detail. The story & storytelling is fabulous. Masterfully directed. Never boring, always entertaining; a delight. Paolo Sorrentino & Jude Law are an awesome combination. Masterpiece. I love it.
July 4: I haven't finished it yet, but everything else I do apart from watching these series is done with the thought of finally going back to it. Not mentioning, that on finishing each episode I want to rewatch it until I no longer like it (which is practically impossible for a Sorrentino film). July 5: I believe films, books, paintings and other forms of art have to have love as their basis (this one does).
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.
Much like Catholicism, The Young Pope is an rich but acquired taste that may be dull to some, but a glorious, religious experience to others. One of the few, if only, TV shows that I have enjoyed due to its artistic surreality and (pseudo?) theological/philosophical merit, rather than its narrative, themes, or characters. I look forward to experiencing the next season--but I could care less about "what happens next".
"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?
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.