Hurrah. The film "Creation" opens in cinemas throughout Britain this Friday 25 September 2009. I shall append shortly some reviews.

Most countries in the world have distribution rights.

Please, those who live in America, make a great fuss about its absence (let’s hope, no more than a short initial absence) in the USA.

The Daily Telegraph of London has much helpful information on its web site

New film "Creation" celebrates Charles Darwin's life
“In later life Charles Darwin appeared every inch the gentleman-scientist. Yet in 1859 he lit the touch-paper under a highly combustible mix of emerging science and prevailing Christian orthodoxy, starting a debate that rages to this day.
Based on Annie’s Box, the family memoir and social history by the scientist and Darwin’s great-great-grandson, Randal Keynes, "Creation" is a new interpretation of Darwin’s life and work starring Paul Bettany, and presents Darwin in early middle-age, devoted to a quiet life of scientific inquiry at Down House in Kent.” Daily Telegraph.

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I was so excited when I heard the movie was coming out... saw the previews and was intrigued.
Then I found out we aren't seeing it here! Sheesh!! It's wrong, let alone embarrassing!
Here follows a review (Sept 9) by Ray Bennett on

LONDON -- Jon Amiel's "Creation" is bound to spark controversy because it depicts Charles Darwin struggling with his epochal 1859 work "On the Origin of Species," though it's much more than a red flag to religious fundamentalists. The opening-night film at the Toronto International Film Festival is an intelligent, touching depiction of a brilliant man sure of his scientific skills but tormented not only by remorse over the loss of a beloved child but also by the realization that he has lost his faith.

It is shot beautifully and boasts performances by Paul Bettany as Darwin and his real-life wife, Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, as Darwin's wife, Emma, that should attract awards attention. Thoughtful and memorable, it will do well with grown-up audiences across the board.

Working from a book titled "Annie's Box" by Darwin's great-great-grandson Randal Keynes, screenwriter John Collee shows the scientist as a fully engaged husband and father who buckles under the weight of his daughter Annie's death, for which he blames himself.

Collee and director Amiel move seamlessly back and forth from the lovely times when Annie (Martha West) was the apple of her father's eye to the present as he is wracked with writer's block and the fear that by writing his book, he will lose the love of his deeply religious wife.

Thanks to the writing, pacing and Paul Bettany's nuanced performance, it is one of the best delineations of intellectual and emotional struggle seen on film in many a year. The actor's scenes with Annie and Emma have an extraordinary tenderness that grips the heart just as Darwin's scientific dilemma engages the brain. Martha West is unaffected and winning as the girl, and Jennifer Connelly, with a perfect English accent, shows the wife's anguish as well as her undying loyalty.

Amiel's greatest achievement is that "Creation" is a deeply human film with moments of genuine lightness and high spirits to go with all the deep thinking.

Louise Stjernsward's costumes and Laurence Dorman's production design plus the English countryside make it all very handsome, and cinematographer Jess Hall and editor Melanie Oliver deserve top marks. Christopher Young's score is apt and extremely pleasing.

It would be a great shame if those with religious convictions spurned the film out of hand as they will find it even-handed and wise.

‘Creation’ Review by “Channel 4”
Scientist Charles Darwin wrestles with the theory of evolution while trying to make a success of his marriage to a devout Christian. Real-life husband-and-wife Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly star in this drama directed by 'The Singing Detective's' Jon Amiel

"I think" ---- two little words that say an awful lot about Charles Darwin. Upon drawing up his model for evolution through processes of natural selection - an idea that would have the greatest impact upon our understanding of life on Earth since some Italian bloke said the world was round - Darwin, in an astonishing display of humility, added the aforementioned caveat. It's sad that this gesture would be forgotten in the years that followed as the Anglican church, the scientific community and, much later, American evangelicals frothed at the mouth over Darwin's assertion that man was descended from monkeys - an assertion, of course that he actually never made.

Based upon the Randal Keynes biography, Jon Amiel's Creation is more interested in this Darwin --- Darwin, the man --- rather than the biological firebrand. This might frustrate some people (Richard Dawkins will no doubt be apoplectic) but in a year when much attention has been focused upon his world-shaking actions it's good to be reminded that while he was upsetting the status quo, Darwin (played by Paul Bettany) was making things very difficult for another resident of Down House, his wife Emma (Bettany's other half, Jennifer Connelly).

The situation within the Darwin household was a microcosm of the evolutionary debate. Charles, a churchgoer whose beliefs had been destroyed by his discoveries, was married to a woman who put Christ before everything else in her life. As the stresses created by these circumstances form the basis of Amiel's film so they would also affect Darwin's willingness to unleash his theory upon a predominantly God-fearing world.

Turning faith versus science into husband versus wife might sound like a crass reduction of a great debate but it actually works rather well, what with the wider implications having been expertly explored elsewhere (take a bow, Andrew Marr) and the story being brought to life by two truly wonderful actors. Bettany, in particular, is remarkable - his softly-spoken man with the strongly-held beliefs reminding us of the time when it looked like he might be Britain's answer to Edward Norton. Connelly, meanwhile, deserves credit for making a decent stab at a home counties accent and for allowing her other half to undergo the sort of tonsorial torture that suggests hairdressing ought to have been added to the 'bill of fare' at Abu Ghraib.

Sadly, another key familial matter is less satisfactorily addressed. In the course of his research into genes, Darwin began to fear that his children's health might have been compromised by his having married his cousin. In life, this led to a tragedy that dogged the scientist until his dying day. In Creation, Paul Bettany's Darwin frequently shares the screen with a 'supernatural' incarnation of his late daughter Annie (Martha West). That the actress seems to have inherited the talent of her old man Domininc is all but by the by, because the device doesn't suit the tone of Amiel's picture. Likewise the use of CGI clashes badly with the Merchant/Ivory style and atmosphere.

Flawed as it might be, Creation is still Amiel's best movie to date. Wonderfully mounted, the picture successfully dramatises key moments in Darwin's life such as his first encounter with London Zoo's charismatic orangutan Jennie. And while we share the Darwins' agonies, writer John Collee (the thematically-similar Master And Commander) intelligently uses supporting characters Thomas Huxley (Toby Jones) and the Reverend John Innes (Jeremy Northam) to explore the greater evolutionary debate.

It's Paul Bettany, though, who ultimately carries the day, reminding Darwin fans and detractors that far from taking an axe to an ordered world, the 'man who killed God' expressed his beliefs with such polite eloquence, and he found his final resting place in Westminster Abbey.

A very good film. I think
Comment by Mary Wakefield:
"The Bible Belt is hostile to the theory of evolution---and so greedy, cowardly distributors won't touch any film that celebrates Darwin for fear of making a loss.
Isn't it a strange state of affairs? One not even Darwin could have anticipated.
As the American coasts continue evolving, becoming ever more sophisticated, so the bit in between sags further and further back into superstition."
This news item from the web site of the progressive NCSE is encouraging.
It conforms with what I heard Paul Bettany say fairly optimistically when interviewed on BBC TV about 21 September, namely that the finding of a distributor (not named by him) for the US was imminent.

Creation finds distributor
September 24th, 2009
The new film about Darwin, Creation, will be distributed in the United States after all, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter (September 24, 2009). The film is expected to be released by Newmarket Films in December 2009. Earlier the producer of the film, Jeremy Thomas, lamented to the Telegraph (September 11, 2009),
"It has got a deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it's because of what the film is about. ... It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America." A few days later, however, NBC Bay Area (September 15, 2009) reported that a distribution deal was imminent.

In her review of Creation at The Panda's Thumb blog, NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott described it as "a thoughtful, well-made film that will change many views of Darwin held by the public — for the good." It also received praise from Steve Jones in Time Out London (September 22, 2009), who called it "a great film about a great man and a greater theory" and by Adam Rutherford in his Guardian blog (September 23, 2009), where he wrote, "we should ... be grateful that this film is moving and beautiful, just like the creation Darwin so luminously untangled," adding, "Creationists the world over deserve to see it."



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