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Thomas Kretschmann plays the pontiff “from a faraway land” in this reverential biography, which charts Karol Wojtyla's life from his childhood in Poland through a papacy in which he's “compelled to take the word of God to the people of the world.” Though he disdains political activism, Wojtyla is propelled to the priesthood by Nazi cruelty. “I don't believe in violence,” he says. “I don't know how else to fight.” Wyszynski: Bruno Ganz. Dziwisz: John Albasiny. Romero: Joaquim de Almeida.

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