“The Two Popes,” (some subtitles/English/Spanish/Latin/Italian), May 7, 2020 (2019), Netflix. Brilliant acting from Anthony Hopkins as Benedict XVI and Jonathon Pryce as Francis I. It’s an exciting and frequently very funny film that also graphically takes one into the horrific torture chambers and mass executions of the Argentinian junta’s rule. This film follows from the ambitious, reactionary German Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger rise to the papacy on the death of John Paul II, his decision to step down, and his support for his main critic, Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergolio, whose ‘liberal’ views sought to modernize the Catholic Church in order to save it. These men could not be more unalike. Yet they share secrets. We learn of Francis’s, his cooperation and collaboration, be it misplaced institutional protectiveness or, as my Argentine friends say, genuine reactionary sentiment, led to the deaths of many, including close friends, during the Dirty War. We barely touch Razinger’s, except the Vatican Bank scandal and his failure in handling the child abuse crisis in a manner that protects and serves the victims rather than the church, something that, at least in the film, appalls Bergolio, although the Argentine experience speaks to more reticence on his part. In the end, of course, it’s all conversations designed for Ratzinger to explain why he must step down as Benedict and Bergolio must become Francis. Bergolio’s elevation to the papacy will be his greatest act of penance for his sins. Yet there is no postscript save a sweet scene from the Argentina-Germany World Cup. Everything I’ve read since notes the fragmentary and even contradictory movement by Francis and Ratzinger’s continued involvement in Church politics behind the scenes promoting his agenda. Still, this is an exceptional piece of film making.