Review of "The
Young Pope" 2/3/17 Airs Sundays and
Mondays at 9pm on HBO
The basic idea of this show is that this fictional pope,
Pius XIII (Jude Law), is a gangster. He acts tough and
throws his weight around, and the story is a lot like most
gangster movies you've seen (albeit with less murder).
It's a very well done story, though. This young American
pope, Lenny, who might not believe in God, becomes pope due
to a series of political things that happen. He's chosen
because they think he will be a useful puppet, but they've
We learn in the first episode
that Lenny arrives at the convent at a young age; his mother
(Diane Keaton) had given him up and become a nun, so she
brings him into her convent. Then after he becomes
pope, he brings his mother into the Vatican with him as his
right hand. The way he acts and the changes he makes, really
upsets the cardinals. The pope uses the confessional to his
own advantage, just to give you an idea as to what he's
The story starts out pretty slow, but it gets
much better. The mystery of this pope and what he does is
shown to us a little bit at a time, like the layers of an
onion being peeled back. It's a riveting drama,
and you won't be sorry you watched it (unless you're
Catholic, then maybe it will offend you).
From Paolo Sorrentino, director
of the Academy AwardŽ-winning film 'The Great Beauty,'
'The Young Pope' tells the controversial story of the
beginning of Pius XIII's pontificate. Born Lenny
Belardo, he is a complex and conflicted character, so
conservative in his choices as to border on
obscurantism, yet full of compassion towards the weak
and poor. The first American pope, Pius XIII is a man of
great power who is stubbornly resistant to the Vatican
courtiers, unconcerned with the implications to his
The ten-episode series stars two-time
Academy AwardŽ nominee Jude Law as Pius XIII, and
Academy AwardŽ winner Diane Keaton as Sister Mary, a nun
from the U.S. now living in Vatican City.
Sorrentino, who also directed of the upcoming 'Youth,'
says the series is about "the clear signs of God's
existence. The clear signs of God's absence. How faith
can be searched for and lost. The greatness of holiness,
so great as to be unbearable when you are fighting
temptations and when all you can do is to yield to them.
The inner struggle between the huge responsibility of
the Head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the
simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as
Pontiff. Finally, how to handle and manipulate power in
a state whose dogma and moral imperative is the
renunciation of power and selfless love towards one's
The series is produced by Wildside,
and co-produced by Haut et Court TV and Mediapro.
Executive producers for Wildside are Lorenzo Mieli and
Mario Gianani together with John Lyons. Executive
producers for Haut et Court TV are Caroline Benjo,
Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal. 'The Young Pope' is a
co-production of HBO and Sky.
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