Critic Consensus: Noble goals and a gripping performance from Rachel Weisz can't save Agora from its muddled script, uneven acting, and choppy editing.
An Egyptian slave turns to Christianity in the hopes of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his master, a philosopher and atheist.
|Rating:||R (for some violence)|
|Genre:||Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Art House & International, Classics|
|Directed By:||Yórgos Avgerópoulos, Alejandro Amenábar|
|Written By:||Mateo Gil, Alejandro Amenábar|
|In Theaters:||May 28, 2010 Wide|
|On DVD:||Oct 9, 2010|
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as Heladius Dignitary
as Hypatia's Disciple
as Old Philosopher
as Christian Student
as Woman with Figs
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Critic Reviews for Agora
This Spanish-produced period drama is pretty dreadful: the drama is torpid, the astronomy lessons pedantic, and the spear-and-sandal production values flat-out cheesy.
Although the movie's history is spotty, its dialogue is sometimes clunky, and time frames are telescoped, its overall impact packs a powerful punch.
Manages to mix philosophy, history, hysteria and a love triangle and still be something of a bore.
Some may consider "Agora" sound history, others may label it heresy, but I call it thumping good drama.
Audience Reviews for Agora
Yet another dramatic film that only exists as a video aid for high school teachers, "Agora" tries to bring tension to the story of Hypatia, while educating the audience on the discovery of the rotation of the earth around the sun in an elliptical motion, which disputed Ptolemy's model. While that discovery is interesting, and it's framed against the Christians taking over the historically pagan city of Alexandria (including the Library of Alexandria), it doesn't make for much of a watch. There's also a power dynamic between the major religions, and a weird love triangle between Hypatia, a slave named Davus, and her former student, turned prefect, Orestes. Even with all that buildup, this film is extremely boring. Oh my goodness, it bores the entire way through. It works well as a history of science film, because it doesn't overtly drag and it explains its points well, but for entertainment, go elsewhere.
While this may not be a favorite among historical purists or religious people, I feel that this film was very significant for me on a personal level. I absolutely loved the story of Hypatia. Whether or not the film is historically accurate, it is inevitably true that she was simply a victim of religious intolerance and blind fundamentalism. It is a heartbreaking story and one which brings tears every time I watch it. I have a few quips about it in terms of acting but whatever else critics have said that reduces the emotional punch of the film, I disagree with and just don't think they are giving it a fair judging.
Historically based movie...portraying one of the last of the great philosophers holding on to her world before the new Christians plunged it into the Dark Ages, and destroying the great philosophical and scientific works of the time. Their religion was as devoid of love, compassion and empathy as any before, or after them. When religion takes hold, out the window goes reason, science and tolerance. .
|Hypatia:||I believe in Reason [in response to so, what do you believe in?]|
|Hypatia:||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.|
|Hypatia:||Synesius, you don't question what you believe, or cannot. I must.|
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