The first trailer for the new HBO series was released over the weekend: a strange, surreal, unorthodox (in every sense) glimpse at a fictional pope who is, by his own description, “revolutionary.”
The Hollywood Reporter got a first look in Venice:
Jude Law is a dangerously iconoclastic Pontiff and Diane Keaton his chief advisor in Paolo Sorrentino’s Vatican-set satire made for Sky, HBO and Canal+. Who knows where Paolo Sorrentino’s amusing, unpredictable and irreverent Vatican fantasy, The Young Pope, will lead over the course of its 10 episodes? From the look of the first two hours screened in Venice, this is a potential hit for Sky, HBO and Canal+, combining the Italian director’s sardonic, Fellini-inspired gift for the bizarre with the world’s ever-growing hunger to peep behind the screens at St. Peter’s — a match made in heaven. The miniseries has already sold widely and the door is open to a second season. Sorrentino’s taste for the grotesque at times gets out of hand, but generally serves him well in this comic approach to the hidebound traditions of the miniscule Papal state. It’s a far cry from the gentle, respectful humor of Nanni Moretti’s We Have a Pope, where Michel Piccoli played a newly-elected Holy Father so overcome with self-doubt he refuses to take office. The Young Pope is closer to the acid spirit of Il Divo, Sorrentino’s merciless portrait of the Italian politician with nine lives, Giulio Andreotti, than to his contemplative recent films like Youth and 2014 Oscar winner The Great Beauty. Shot in mixed English and Italian, the miniseries is galvanized by a commandingly arch Jude Law as Lenny Belardo, who has just been elected Pope Pius XIII. Not only is he the first American pope, he’s only 47 years old, as well as arrogant, whimsical and hilariously destructive. How he ever got elected will no doubt be revealed in later episodes, but suffice it to say he comes off as a borderline anti-Christ not only in his power-mad dreams, but in all his dealings with the cardinals and the Curia.
Check out the trailer below to see what all the fuss is about.