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Review: Agora

Alejandro Amenábar: Man of Science  
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 20, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars

 

We're but tiny specks in the cosmos, a point Alejandro Amenábar (The Sea Inside) drives home via nigh-omnipresent powers-of-10 shots, pulling back to the Earth's atmosphere (and beyond), or zooming in on Roman-ruled Egypt, where the Library of Alexandria was wrested from the pagan aristocracy in AD 391 by the swelling Christian populace.

This is the centerpiece of Amenábar's historical re-creation (co-scripted by collaborator Mateo Gil), and though much of the action — the bloody conflicts that arise between the ascending fundamentalists and the pagans, with the Jews caught in the middle — occurs from a God's-eye view, the film falls squarely on the side of science and liberalism, as embodied by Rachel Weisz's free-thinking Hypatia.

Loved by the future prefect, the naive Orestes (Oscar Isaac), and also by Davus (Max Minghella), her personal slave, Hypatia gazes heavenward, unraveling the universe's mysteries, blind to the earthbound fate that awaits.

  Topics: Reviews , Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, Max Minghella,  More more >
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