Creation (12A)

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

747.fi.x491.creation.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Sep 22 2009

Don’t expect anything too radical from this infuriatingly soft yet still pleasantly subdued and poignant screen adaptation of Randal Keynes’s book ‘Annie’s Box’, about the emotional traumas suffered by Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) as he forms the ideas destined for the pages of his magnum opus, ‘On the Origin of Species’. Director Jon Amiel and screenwriter John Collee have gone out of their way not to antagonise either side of the science/religion debate, instead offering a distinctive take on evolutionary theory as refracted through Darwin’s relations with his pious wife (a sour-faced Jennifer Connelly, offering an occasionally hilarious, literal approximation of the Queen’s English) and increasingly curious brood.

In effect reprising his role from Peter Weir’s 2003 swashbuckler ‘Master and Commander’, the ever-reliable Bettany plays Darwin as a kindly fusspot who discovers that his austere view of death as an essential cog in the machinery of natural selection has the potential to outrage those who find consolation in an afterlife of clouds, angels and spiritual exoneration. This becomes all the more relevant when his own daughter Annie (likeable newcomer Martha West) is brought down with scarlet fever and he is forced to face the harrowing corollaries of his own theory. With its bijou period trappings and Enya-lite score, it’s easy to dismiss the film as another pat, issue-ducking weepie, but on closer inspection it offers interesting and cohesive musings on the illogical nature of the human character, and how that fits with the responsibilities of scientific discovery. As the title suggests, it’s a film more interested in the birth and nurturing of ideas and their relationship to society than it is in extracting a crude drama from Darwin nervously pressing a knife to God’s throat. In that sense, it succeeds admirably.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Sep 25, 2009

Duration:

108 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Paul Bettany, Martha West, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam

Screenwriter:

John Collee

Director:

Jon Amiel

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|13
1 person listening
Oldtreasure

I got it on DVD, missed it at cinema. So sad. Tissues. And best performance by an ape this year.

michelle

despite the difficulty in originally landing a distributor for the states, it looks like the film has actually been received with solid review in the U.S. Go to the film website creationthemovie.com/press for a read

Westie

Look, a film needs to be judged on its merits - this is one of the best biopics for ages. Just because it happens to be about someone influential that we all think we know doesn't mean that this isn't full of insight and pathos. I'd rather see this than Avatar any day - it's less preachy! It's America's loss if "Creation" isn't released over there.

Fraulein

I think previous reviewers are missing the point; it's because Darwin lost his daughter that he lost his faith and was thus able to take the leap and write his masterwork which "killed God". The film focuses on this slice of his life - we see Darwin as a young father rather than the old bearded man of legend. I thought Bettany was Oscar-worthy. This film is moving, intelligent, important.

Fraulein

I think previous reviewers are missing the point; it's because Darwin lost his daughter that he lost his faith and was thus able to take the leap and write his masterwork which "killed God". The film focuses on this slice of his life - we see Darwin as a young father rather than the old bearded man of legend. I thought Bettany was Oscar-worthy. This film is moving, intelligent, important.

Eva

The last two comments must be written by the film's PR people out to salvage some money. I found this film slow, dull and too focused on Darwins dying daughter and his daft, religious wife.

Mabel

I loved this film, I thought Bettany was spectacular and hope he wins some awards. I cried throughout but especially at the end -- it's just a beautiful, beautiful film about a true life figure.

Mabel

I loved this film, I thought Bettany was spectacular and hope he wins some awards. I cried throughout but especially at the end -- it's just a beautiful, beautiful film about a true life figure.

steve

The comment you type in this boA very boring and has very little to do with the Creation side of things . I was very dissapointed as I was looking forward to a special event which it could have been

Neil

I found this film tedious, slow and simplistic. Do not waste your time and money on it. Clearly the British film industry and the BBC have not evolved to become superior beings. Darwin is portrayed by Bethany as wet, indicisve and reclusive (and very boring) when he was a lion of the London scientific world. His personality and debating skills were first class but this film portrays him as a dozy Gordon Brown figure. There is little new information in this film which focuses endlessly on Darwin's dying daughter and his dull, pious wife. My friend and I fell asleep in the middle. It is a waste of the BBC's and the tax payers cash. Let's hope Speilberg gives Darwin the credit he is due.

AusJimmy

This is a film about the great man, this a story of his life events which inspired him to do great things. Emotionally inteence and quite harrowing at times. A must see.

Paul

An incoherent film presenting a fictional story that does little to do justice to one of the world's greatest scientists. Do not go to see this film to learn about Darwin, go to see a depiction of how a father may deal with the death of his daughter and its subsequent impact. Go and see an inaccurate and invented storyline about his wife which forms the other part of this fictional storyline. No idea why they depicted Huxley in this way, perverse is all I can say, but let truth fly out of the window. I hope the recording I saw is not representative of the final distribution copy, it was awful. Hopefullly one day a film will be made of this great man, it is long overdue. Meanwhile spend your money instead on a book about Darwin and let's see the Americans work themselves into a tizz about this daft film.

livianonymous

How confusing, this review is (aptly) glowing yet the film has only been given 3 stars. Beautiful and emotive, it merits 4 at least!