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Angelina Jolie screens 'Unbroken' at Vatican, meets Pope Francis

Angelina Jolie screens 'Unbroken' at the Vatican and meets @Pontifex

Is Vatican City becoming an obligatory stop on the campaign trail for A-list stars with faith-friendly movies to promote?

On Thursday, the actress, director and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie screened her World War II drama "Unbroken" for some Vatican officials and ambassadors, and she met briefly with Pope Francis afterward.

Although the pontiff was unable to attend the screening, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told the Associated Press that "Unbroken" shows "positive human and spiritual values, in particular forgiveness."

Based on the bestselling nonfiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, "Unbroken" stars Jack O'Connell as Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner whose plane crashed in the Pacific during World War II, forcing him to endure 47 days at sea on a raft and two years of abuse at Japanese POW camps. (Although the film does not delve deeply into his religious beliefs, Zamperini experienced a religious conversion after returning from the war and became an evangelical Christian youth worker.)

Jolie isn't the first celebrity to seek the Vatican's blessing for a film. Last year, Russell Crowe lobbied hard on social media for Francis to meet with him and watch the biblical epic "Noah," directed by Darren Aronofsky.

Ultimately, Crowe had to settle for a quick face-to-face during Francis' weekly audience in St. Peter's Square and an uflattering review from the Vatican newspaper Avvenire.

Although neither Jolie nor Crowe was able to wrangle Francis for a screening, the pontiff isn't anti-cinema: In the past, he has said his favorite film is Fellini's "La Strada."

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