Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

Hysteria (♦♦♦♦)

Mortimer Granville is a young doctor with ambition and zeal. He wants nothing more than being able to practice true medicine and follow the latest medical advances, but his superiors know better…Thus, Dr. Granville has about six jobs in a one-year period. All that changes when Mortimer is employed at Dr. Dalrymple’s private practice where women with hysteria are treated somewhat unconventionally, to say the least. Because of Mortimer, the practice soon becomes a booming business, and with it comes an offer for partnership and an engagement to the virtuous Emily Dalrymple. But all that is threatened when Mortimer becomes injured due to the excessive use of his hands.

Hysteria is witty, charming but definitely oriented towards mature audiences. The first half of the movie is hysterical, portraying the treatment of “hysteria”, medical ailment common among female population, in a private medical practice. The second half of the movie digs deep and finds its heart and that of the audience. This film is a romantic comedy full of naughtiness but lacking the vulgarity so prevalent in today’s most commercial motion pictures.

Maggie Gyllenhaal always delivers winning performances and this film is no exception. In Hysteria she interprets a vibrant, social revolutionary named Charlotte Dalrymple. Hugh Dancy is equally charming and hysterical as Dr. Mortimer Granville, the man behind the invention of the vibrator for medical purposes. Felicity Jones (Like Crazy), the more virtuous daughter of Dr. Dalrymple, is the woman with whom Mortimer was engaged. Ruppert Everett plays the role of Edmund Smythe, the inventor of the vibrator and many other electrical devices.

I entered the theater not knowing what to expect of this film, but not only I was pleasantly surprised, I had a jolly good time!