The Young Pope (Series 1) Review
Lenny Belardo, the youngest and first American Pope in the history of the Church, who just so happens to smoke! He must try and come to terms with the running of the church and if he really can make a difference while also deciding to remain out of the public eye with no one actually knowing who he is. Bringing in people he has always been close to helping him in the struggle, does he even believe in God?
The series is a very big and bold effort from Sky as it certainly has plenty of things to make it controversial. But isn’t that what people want to really watch and see, something that is very different and dares to cross the line. Questioning different things about the church and how they will be dealt with.
The daring nature of the series does not leave anything unturned. Sexual scenes are very high in proportion through and this includes nuns and members of the clergy. We get nudity, sex, an attempted sex scandal, rape and mentions of paedophilia and the issues the church have had to deal with. We get Lenny’s opinions on how he would stop this and links it to homosexuality. The vows of chastity are touched upon a lot as well.
Jude Law is truly outstanding as Lenny the Pope and really shows just how fantastic his acting ability and range is. You find yourself supporting him from the very first moment and throughout as everyone tries to battle against him, wanting him to resign. I do love how much they played on his good looks and had that mentioned plenty of times in different scenes to prove certain points. He smokes, has a very high opinion of himself and doubts whether he believes in God. He seems to know everything that is going on around him and uses this to his advantage and to prevent anyone getting the better of him.
Diane Keaton takes on the role of Sister Mary, the woman who raised Lenny and Cardinal Dussolier. As they were abandoned by their parents at a young age. These bonds are kept very strong as they form a good support team for the Pope. She shows that she is more than capable of still turning out a very serious performance (in recent times her film work has been taken more towards comedy). I have been a big fan of her work and it was brilliant to see her team up with Law in this series, a perfect choice.
Along with those we get a very impressive supporting cast from James Cromwell, Silvio Orlando, Ludivine Sagnier, Javier Camara and Scott Shepherd.
The music sets the tone and reminds us that it is set in the current day. A particular scene that has still stuck with me has to be with LMAO’s “Sexy and I know It” which you could not help smile at with the placement in the scene. Very impressive work to show how different things could be to how they are perceived. Even the opening credits with the walk and music set the tone that this is not going to be the series that you are expecting to watch. The Pope who does not want anyone to actually see him? I think that is such a brilliant idea in all honesty as it really does work so well with the tone of it all.
Another thing to mention is that it really is visually stunning at times with some incredible scenes. The outfits as well are very well presented. I do not want to spoil any of the plot twists or major details with the story as you will have to check out the series for yourself. But if you are open to watching something different, new and exciting then this is certainly the series for you. It does not really matter your opinions on religion or the church as it will throw all of that up in the air with great chaos. Well done Sky for putting together a rather groundbreaking series.
The Young Pope is released on Blu Ray (RRP £34.99) and DVD (RRP £29.99) on 26th December 2016 in the UK, with a running time of approximately 544 minutes over 4 discs.