If anyone thinks the Vatican newspaper is still a staid broadsheet that publishes only religious news and harsh papal edicts, consider this: recently it ran not one but five articles about the new James Bond film.
Skyfall gets a rave review in l’Osservatore Romano, which calls it one of the best of the 23 James Bond films made over the past 50 years.
In the main article, the newspaper says the latest incarnation of the world’s most famous spy is a rather good one because it makes him “more human, capable of being moved and of crying: in a word, more real.”
In an interview with the newspaper, the current Bond actor Daniel Craig says he feels “very different” from the actors who have preceded him in playing Bond but does concede that the original Sean Connery is “a point of reference.”
The Bond splash shows just how much the newspaper has changed. Since taking it over in 2007, editor-in-chief Gian Maria Vian has slowly transformed it from a newspaper critics said could compete with sleeping pills to one that follows current events, trends and show business as well as Church business.
It is a safe bet that when the second James Bond film From Russia with Love came out in 1963, the Catholic Church either ignored it or, more likely, condemned it as it did Federico Fellini’s classic La Dolce Vita in 1960.