My heart has never been more broken. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie so powerfully moving, so absolutely heartbreaking, so consuming in its storytelling.
It was like my heart broke and then KEPT BREAKING into smaller pieces. How long has it been since we've had a movie so constantly changing, developing, conflicting? A movie that gets better at every turn? Where you think OMG IT CAN'T GET ANY BETTER and then it totally does?!
I haven't been this torn and conflicted over a good story since The Red Tent. I haven't seen a movie that wasn't predictable, that didn't overexpose, that didn't have a hair out of place in its perfection since I dont know when. The sets! The costumes! Costumes are wonderful in this piece -- making clear statements without being annoying and flashy. And they're *beautiful*. The whole thing is gorgeous.
Watching these characters change is incredible. Hypatia herself is the only constant -- but the men around evolve and mature on their different journeys, and it's absolutely fascinating. The character I loved at first I ended up hating, the one I hated in the beginning turned out to be my favorite, and the guy I just thought was annoying became a super hottie in the second half. Everybody gets new haircuts and costumes in the middle of the movie. Also, a bromance pops up out of nowhere and is completely awesome. It includes a forehead-touch/hug of squeeful joy.
This film has so much to say about people and religion and society and time. That conflicts of faith are not about belief, but about being right. Hypatia steps passively to the side of the fight. She alone champions nonviolence and is constantly searching for new ideas, new theories -- open to new ways of thinking and seeing things. Later in the film a council member says, "Why should this assembly accept the counsel of someone who admittedly believes in absolutely nothing?" and Hypatia answers, "I believe in philosophy." This declaration is one of the most profound in the whole film. A woman before a council of men, defending logic and tolerance, and she gets laughed at. HEARTBREAK. HEARTBREAK.
The film also addresses Hypatia's role as a master astronomer in a world where to be female is to be an object of desire. There is a particularly powerful scene where Hypatia rejects her feminity in front of her students. She is a true scholar, the kind who would jump out of a bathtub for a new idea, and is uninterested in the good looking guys that desire *her*. A MOVIE ABOUT A WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE INTERESTS, GUYS. HOW AMAZING.
I want to say more but I don't even know how to. The destruction of the Serapeum (library). The relationship between masters and slaves. The mercy of a dignified death. The love between friends. The concession to ignorace. The desire for power. The feelings that must remain unspoken. The line that cannot be crossed. The fight that is already won. Everything is treated with amazing precision in portrayal and filming. I love every actor and every costume choice, every line in the script. You guys KNOW how picky I am. Considering how long I've waited for this movie (two years!) you'd think it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I am mindblown. This one is really special.
I am not doing a very good job of conveying the epicness of this movie, and I don't want to spoil anything for my flist, so for the rest I will only say OMG WATCH IT. And then come squee with me.