Pope Francis, check your Twitter mentions. They're blowing up with messages from Russell Crowe. The actor seems to really really want the Pontiff to see his new film, Noah, (you know, based on the book). Crowe — who apparently refers to his followers as "villagers" — is offering the head of the Catholic church a free(!) screening of the film over social media:
Crowe also enlisted his "villagers" to retweet his request, therefore making it more likely that the Pope will see it. Just over 150 people heeded his edict:
Noah is one of two Bible-based films coming out in the first few months of this year. The other one, Son of God, has attracted a lot of attention for its famous backers from the American evangelical community, and the two seem to be in something of a competition for the same core audience of viewers. So it could be that Crowe wants to up the Noah game with Christian adherents by getting an endorsement from the Pope. There's just one problem: ever since Pope Francis was elected to head up the church, the Vatican's media wing has officially refused to comment on whether he has or hasn't seen a film, making an official endorsement somewhat unlikely. The Vatican, for instance, simply said that the Pope doesn't watch films at all when asked whether he'd seen Philomena, as the Hollywood Reporter pointed out. But that doesn't mean he didn't actually see the film: after meeting with the real-life woman who inspired Philomena, Francis reportedly scheduled a private screening.
The Pope himself has talked about his love of classic films, indicating that if the Pontiff chooses not to see Darren Aronofsky's latest, it might be because of preference, and not policy. In an interview with Italian media, Francis revealed that he has a predilection for the Italian neo-realist work of Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.