A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hopes of pursuing freedom while also falling in love with his master, the famous female philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.
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Alexandria, 391 AD: Hypatia teaches astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy. Her student Orestes is in love with her, as is Davus, her personal slave. As the city's Christians, led by Ammonius and Cyril, gain political power, the institutions of learning may crumble along with the governance of slavery. Jump ahead 20 years: Orestes, the city's prefect, has an uneasy peace with Christians, led by Cyril. A group from the newly empowered Christians has now taken to enforce their cultural hegemony zealously; first they see the Jews as their obstacle, then nonbelievers. Hypatia has no interest in faith; she's concerned about the movement of celestial bodies and "the brotherhood of all". Although her former slave doesn't see it that way. Written by
The Serapeum was on the top of a hill. According to certain authors it contained only a part of the works of the Great Library after its fire occurred centuries before. There were then two libraries and the Great Library was in fact on the other side of the Rhakotis quarter, more or less in front of the Island of Pharus. See more »
Ever since Plato, all of them - Aristarchus, Hipparchus, Ptolemy - they have all, all, all tried to reconcile their observations with circular orbits. But what if another shape is hiding in the heavens?
Another shape? Lady, there is no shape more pure than the circle; you taught us that.
I know, I know, but suppose - just suppose! - the purity of the circle has blinded us from seeing anything beyond it! I must begin all over with new eyes. I must rethink everything!... What if we dared to look ...
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Beautifully shot and remarkably acted by Rachel Weisz but the script and pacing almost derails the entire movie.
Well acted sword and sandals period films that has a remarkable breathtaking performance by Rachel Weisz that is deserving of the high praise she has gotten for her role but there is no denying the fact that the script has some very glaring problems that serves more to derail the great acting strides made by every actor in the movie other than help with their performances. Rachel Weisz is with out a doubt, an actor's actor, one of the best we have working today and she manages to work against the grain to put together a complex heroine whose internal conflict with herself and others is a breath of fresh air in this time and age of cinema and she helps keeps this movie alive, too bad that the script is so motivated in its self serving righteousness that instead of having Weisz's complexity, it flouters in such an incoherent way that you have no idea on what is going on during the later parts of the film thanks to too many story lines happening at once, which take up too much time of what this film should have been about and that should have been more a look at a complex women who stood her ground during a very dark period in human history.
Oscar Isaac and Max Minghella play the potential suitors for Weisz's character and while they are both very good in their roles, i could have done with out their stories. That's more a problem with the script than the actors themselves because of both actors, like Weisz act their hearts out and give great performances but the script does not make their characters interesting and that's the main problem because they add unnecessary time to a film that should have done more with its main character's views than put its priorities on fluff. I would love to see more work out of both Minghella and Isaac, maybe working with Rachel Weisz again on a film with a much better screenplay that respects their talent more than this film did.
Its a very good film, don't get me wrong but it could have been much more, especially with Rachel Weisz giving such a remarkable performance.
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