Monday, 12 March 2012

Wilful, Wonderful Weisz

Rachel Weisz, rather disappointingly, just married flat faced Daniel Craig, ah well at least I can still plunder her back catalogue, so to speak, of films. One I've been meaning to watch for quite some time is Agora, a partial biography of the 4th century astronomer Hypatia who cared from the Alexandrian library during Roman rule. While her students begin to take sides in the simmering religious stramash, the avowed atheist Hypatia's sole focus is on her investigation into planetary movements and it's this narrow mindedness that leads her to stumble into the middle of the increasingly violent disputes. Beautifully shot and well acted there's plenty of substance here that reflects nicely onto our own current situation with religious fundamentalism, scientific freedom and gender equality getting drawn into the tragic tale. An interesting, intelligent film so if you're looking for a bit of sword swinging ala 300 or Troy I'd definitely look elsewhere.

In The Whistleblower, Weisz plays an equally determined woman, a Nebraskan cop who takes a sabbatical to work as a UN peacekeeper in post war Bosnia and slowly uncovers a sex trafficking ring involving fellow peacekeepers and a whole bunch of UN officials. Based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac this is a tough, fairly depressing political thriller that should have garnered further attention on release and not just for the importance of it's incendiary subject matter but because Weisz puts in a startlingly powerful performance that rings the whole piece like a bell with a tone of indignation and fury. A superb thriller that relies on a gripping script and our muddied morality for the high/low notes.

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