Cert12A Stars 4

You don’t have to be a strict Catholic or even the least bit religious to enjoy this respectful and surprisingly sprightly biographical drama of redemption, friendship and totalitarian regimes.

As Pope Benedict XVI and the future Pope Francis, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce go head to head in an acting masterclass and keep us enthralled in a drama which is basically two very old white guys talking in a room.

Mind you, that room is the gloriously decorated Sistine chapel in the Vatican. And what begins as a dressing down slowly evolves into a measuring up of each other.

What they have in common is accusations of being colluding with totalitarian states. One is called a Nazi by people in the street, the other a is considered a collaborator with the 1970s Argentine Military junta, with both at separate times suffering a crisis of faith.

This is a hopeful and optimistic journey of penitence and reconciliation, and I say amen to that.