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Creation (2009)

A movie directed by Jon Amiel

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Delusional Darwin

  • Aug 9, 2010
When I heard about Creation, I was excited to see a movie try to capture Darwin the man for modern film audiences. The acting is fine and Paul Bettany pulls off a decent Darwin. There are some great scenes, particularly the Orangutan, the death of Darwin's daughter, and Huxley's cameo. I really liked the way it portrayed the "survival of the fittest" - not as an academic debate, but as a series of field observations in the outdoors - exactly where Darwin would have devised his theory.

Unfortunately, Creation's approach to Charles Darwin's character is horrible. The Charles Darwin in Creation comes across as more a delusional hypochondriac than one of the most brilliant, important men ever to have lived. It's one thing to avoid lionizing the man, but it's just as inappropriate to wrongly portray him as schizoid. There was plenty in Darwin's life that would have made compelling drama - the death of his daughter was a crucial moment - without going over into hyperbole. Sadly, the only conclusion I can draw is that the producers, directors, and scriptwriters behind Creation thought modern viewers were too unsophisticated and impatient to actually watch a realistic drama about Darwin.

I'd recommend Darwin's Darkest Hour as an alternative to Creation. Creation has its moments, but don't confuse it for a documentary about Charles Darwin.

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August 11, 2010
I was really curious about this one myself, but your review confirms what I heard about it. Maybe I'll give it a rent someday...thanks!
About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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More than 150 years after its publication, Charles Darwin'sOn the Origin of Speciesand its theory of natural selection remain the subject of much debate; the divide between those who accept Darwin's ideas as incontrovertible science and those who consider them blasphemous may be wider now than ever. Released in 2009, director Jon Amiel'sCreationgoes right to the heart of the matter--indeed, right to the heart of Darwin himself. As portrayed by Paul Bettany, the Darwin who has returned to England following his voyage aboard HMSBeagleis a man for whom "deeply conflicted" is a barely adequate description. Well aware his theory is "perhaps the most powerful idea ever to occur to a human mind," he is caught between the scientists who insist that he has "killed God" and the religious conservatives, including his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly), who counter that his very soul will be in peril if he finishes and publishes his book. What's more, he is haunted, sometimes literally, by the death of his favorite child, Annie (seen in frequent flashbacks), and its effect on his marriage--in fact, it is this personal angle that dominates the film. But while the toll his work has taken on his health, his faith, his family, and his very sanity is obvious, he also knows that it is far too important to ignore.Creationis not a documentary; liberties have been taken, and there are multiple sequences, including Darwin's nightmarish fever dreams, ...
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Director: Jon Amiel
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
Runtime: 108 minutes
Studio: Lionsgate
First to Review

"So Much for Creation"
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