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.
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
Although the film shows Synesius abandoning hypatia and attacking her theories when she refuses to convert to Christianity, in reality it was Hypatia who broke off all contact with Synesius. No record exists of his ever having tried to convert her and his letters to her even after she refused to respond are full of glowing praise for her, begging for a reply. His last surviving letter was written to her. See more »
[Looks up at night sky]
If I could just unravel this just a little bit more, and just get a little closer to the answer, then... Then I would go to my grave a happy woman.
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Rachel Weisz is Oscar Worthy but the film is not worthy of her effort.
Muddled film that has its sights set high in the right course but lacks focus and a direct script that can handle the subject matter. Alejandro Amenábar tries his best but comes up short in many ways with his narrative. The movie is a little too long and the script wavers from time to time but Rachel Weisz's performance is Oscar worthy and deserving of a better film that respects the effort she puts in it. She makes you stay with the movie, even when It sputters out of control during the last half of the film. She gets good support from her leading men (Max Minghella and Oscar Isaac) but its hard for the three of them to connect with how unfocused the script is and that's the film's biggest problem.
For Weisz's Oscar effort and the solid performances of her leading men, the movie gets a 7 but with out their performances, the movie would be much lower.
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