A bejewelled Rococo bore stretching Sorrentino’s tendency for surreal scene-blocking over coherence of narrative into an epic of halting, disjointed visual caprice. Yes it’s visually assured but the more interesting elements of reactionary religious belief drown in heavy welters of portentously misplaced musical cues, an even heavier backstory and piles of Vatican intrigue the like we’ve seen before.
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!
Starts off really well in the first five episodes: a fascinating protagonist expertly played by Jude Law, amazing directing, a captivating soundtrack, set design, good writing and some purely cinematographic moments. But the series loose some focus after that and it really goes downhill from there and it does disappoint. The whole thing feels messy and incoherent as a whole series. That LMFAO (yes) scene though.
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.