Rita Ferrone at Commonweal:
The most glorious journey can begin with a mistake.” This is the observation made by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the opening scene of Fernando Meirelles’s The Two Popes, as he preaches to throngs of poor people in a Buenos Aires slum. It signals the central themes of the film: change, reconciliation, and hope for the future. The scene, shot on location in Argentina, surges with the energy of the people and the place. A kaleidoscope of color and activity soon settles into a moment of stillness and focused attention as Bergoglio speaks. He stands in the midst of all these people: not above them, but with them. And they are listening.
But what is the mistake? The first possible answer the film offers is that Bergoglio (played by Jonathan Pryce) has decided to resign from his position at the head of the church of Buenos Aires. He is tired and weary from the direction that the church is taking, and he wants out.