We Have a Pope Michel Piccoli, Nanni Moretti, Jerzy Stuhr Director: Nanni Moretti When Nanni Moretti's latest film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this time last year, reviews were mixed. Given his previous film, The Caiman, was a dark, acerbic satire of Silvio Berlusconi and how he corrupted Italian politics with his alleged shenanigans, critics were disappointed by We Have a Pope, which was largely seen as a light and slight comedy about the fallout of the papal election. Indeed, Moretti doesn't touch on the many issues surrounding the Vatican at the time. The sex scandals and accusations of financial impropriety are nowhere to be seen, and the most (and perhaps only) explicit criticism is a vaguely casual comment about how the Holy See should welcome change to keep the Catholic institution - and Roman Catholicism in general - relevant in the modern age. It's certainly valid to charge Moretti - who made his name by revealing the neurotic state of Italian society through his dysfunctional characters - with skirting the real issues here. For example, the film's concluding scene is a piece of sentimental wishful thinking out of touch with the grim reality of the world which the filmmaker used to depict so fierily and so well. We Have a Pope will probably fare better if it's placed in the other category of film Moretti has been making in recent years: the subtler, more tragic character studies a la The Son's Room, about a psychiatrist and his family's struggle to reconcile a death among them with life. Seen in this light, We Have a Pope is more effective, as it presents the solitude and confusion of the Vatican's top-ranking clergymen. Moretti portrays them as ordinary human beings who gather for the papal conclave, hoping they can escape being foisted with the top job (and its many responsibilities) as they are locked in the Sistine Chapel until a new pope is found. Michel Piccoli is the star here as Cardinal Melville, who suffers a breakdown before he is introduced to the faithful as the new papa. The psychiatrist who counsels the cardinal - also played by Moretti - might be a distraction, but as Melville escapes and travels around Rome to regain his bearings, his trauma and helplessness is engaging. Combine Piccoli's acting with the film's exquisite production values and We Have a Pope is a watchable drama. Too bad Moretti's past glories are nowhere to be seen here. Extras: post-screening Q&A with Moretti in London, trailer.