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||IMDB Rating: 6.7/10 from 6,362 votes
||Release: 1 April 2010 (Netherlands) /
||Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
||Director: Sönke Wortmann,
||Stars: Anatole Taubman, Branko Tomovic, David Wenham, Edward Petherbridge, Iain Glen, Johanna Wokalek, John Goodman, Jördis Triebel, Lenn Kudrjawizki, Lotte Flack, Nicholas Woodeson, Oliver Cotton, Richard van Weyden, Suzanne Bertish, Tigerlily Hutchinson
||Synopsis: German village Igelheim's backward priest hopes his sons to succeed him after education in the bishop's cathedral school, but the elder succumbs to disease and the youngest lacks any intellectual drive. Traveling teacher Aesculapius arranges for the inquisitive daughter Johanna to be enrolled too, against their father's wishes. Unfit for the boys-only dorm, she gets to stay with count Gerold, incurring his wife's due jealousy. She's to be dismissed, but survives a Viking pillaging slaughter and assumes brother Johannes's identity to join a monastery, where she becomes the infirmary's trainee. Fleeing exposure as female, she arrives in Rome. As a protégée of rivals in the viper nest-like papal court, she ends up elected as pope, but carries count Gerold's baby, guaranteeing exposure. Written by KGF Vissers
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Although critics in my native Greece were very circumspect when valuing
this movie I disagree with them. Many found that it lacked grandiose
crowds in the battle and acclamation of the Pope scenes, but I think
that in reality medieval battles and the assembly of Roman plebeians
acclaiming the Pope must not have been particularly grandiose events
and that added a quality of realism to the movie.
Also the structure of the story, the equivalent of what Germans call
Bildungsroman-that is the process of the development of character
through life, was presented in a very able manner, showing the
evolution of Joan, a simple but charismatic country girl, to supreme
Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
The love story subplot was also good adding romance to a tale that
would have been dull otherwise and proving that even scholarly girls
are not immune to the pleasures of the flesh.
I have to comment on the acting of Ms Wokalek, which I found admirable
in the way that it portrayed the subdued power of the character of Joan
under a facade of neutral manners and also the surprise role of John
Goodman who played a larger than life exuberant and kindly Pope.
The evocation of the age was also excellent avoiding excesses, and
presenting the mendacity of peasant life in the villages as well as the
relative luxury of the ruling classes.
Of course the main point of the story concerned the barriers that
gender and class posed to a talented poor woman during that dark age. I
think the story has similarities with that of Joan of Ark. The final
surprise, which I will not disclose, must have been a novelistic devise
relative to modern concerns about the Church invented by the author of
the novel on which the movie was based and not an integral part of the
Pope Joan legend as preserved through the ages.
All in all a very able movie which I greatly enjoyed. It is a pity that
the response of the Greek critics was at best lukewarm.
Tags for Pope Joan Full Movie
, Branko Tomovic
, David Wenham
, Edward Petherbridge
, Iain Glen
, Johanna Wokalek
, John Goodman
, Jördis Triebel
, Lenn Kudrjawizki
, Lotte Flack
, Nicholas Woodeson
, Oliver Cotton
, Richard van Weyden
, Suzanne Bertish
, Tigerlily Hutchinson
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