Note: Technically, this post indulges in some spoilers, but as the movie in question is based on historical fact, I didn’t see the point in being coy. Plus, to write about what I wanted to write about, I had to get into a few major plot points. Be forewarned.
Despite being one of the highest grossing films in the history of Spain, Agora (which features an English-speaking cast) is showing on fewer than a handful of screens in the United States, and given its subject matter, it’s not difficult to figure out why. The movie is at the very least deeply skeptical of religion in general and Christianity in particular, and that’s not exactly a welcome perspective in this country.
Yet it’s not a malicious movie. It has more nuance than I expected, and with Rachel Weisz’s luminous, compassionate performance at its center, it could never be hateful. Agora won’t ever be a blockbuster here, but surely this compelling, provocative film could find more of an audience—more than just a few theaters’ worth—given a chance.