Telluride: First Reactions for ‘The Two Popes’ Praise Hopkins, Pryce and the Screenplay

The Two Popes

Early Saturday afternoon, critics at the Telluride Film Festival viewed the world premiere of “The Two Popes,” and the film has been met with overwhelming praise for the leads and its screenplay.

“The Two Popes” is a fictionalized account of conversations between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis that took place in 2013. Here is the plot synopsis via Imdb:

Behind Vatican walls, the traditionalist Pope Benedict and the reformist future Pope Francis must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church.

The films stars Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Golden Globe nominee Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis. Academy Award nominee Fernando Meirelles (“City of God) directs and Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten (“The Theory of Everything” and “Darkest Hour”)wrote the script. “The Two Popes” has been positioned as a showcase for Hopkins and Pryce and, based on the initial reactions, this looks to be another strong awards player for Netflix.

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Our own Clayton Davis and Mark Johnson were at the premiere. Here is what they had to say about what might be “the best script of the year” that is “sharp as a knife”:

Sasha Stone thought the film was “fantastic” and highlighted Pryce:

J Don Birnam said it was “heartfelt”:

Eric D. Snider thinks the movie is “strangely moving”:


“The Two Popes” will screen again at the Toronto International Film Festival. It will be distributed by Netflix and released in theaters on November 27 and for streaming on December 20.

What do you think of the positive reactions for “The Two Popes?” Let us know in the comments below.