If an earlier film hadn’t already nabbed the title The Greatest Story Ever Told, it would have been eminently suitable for this biopic of the man whose theory of evolution by natural selection displaced God from the universe and stripped humans of their special status as divinely created beings.
That’s Charles Darwin, of course, and Jon Amiel’s intelligently scripted, beautifully shot and handsomely acted film Creation tells the story of how Darwin came to write the book in which he set out his theory for the Victorian public: On the Origin of Species, “the only bestseller to change man’s conception of himself” (the verdict of geneticist Steve Jones).
Based on the book Annie’s Box by Randal Keynes (Darwin’s great-great grandson), Creation shows how Darwin struggled to reconcile the propagation of his ideas with his love for his deeply religious wife, Emma, and how the tragically early death of his beloved daughter Annie overshadowed his great work. Sympathetically played by Paul Bettany, the film’s Darwin is far from the white-bearded patriarch of popular imagination, and the casting of Bettany’s real-life spouse, Jennifer Connelly, as Darwin’s wife, Emma, makes him seem even more human.
Released on 18th January.
Darwin biopic ruffles the feathers of evolition deniers. Read more.