Beautiful, clever cinematography – much involving exquisite close-ups – reveals the human drama behind the polarization of meticulous academics vs acclaimed popularizers – within a field of study, and within a family. A fair amount of humor accompanies the drama and, near the end, the unappreciated philologist demonstrates that his skills can uncover modern truths as well as ancient. The question throughout the movie is; what to do with the truth?
The fine cinematography was, sadly, undermined by digital projection which softened the blacks, blew out the whites, and gave a video sheen to highlights, a slightly jagged appearance to sharp edges at rest, and a wavy edge to those in motion. When the image was all mid-tones and soft edges, as was the case with those lovely closeups, you could see past the inferior presentation to the artistry behind the camera. That the cinematography was notable despite the disadvantages of the presentation method speaks well for the skills at work. It’s just too bad they weren’t given the opportunity to really shine.