Eugenie Scott in Panda's Thumb:
I and NCSE staff were invited to view the new Jon Amiel movie, Creation, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly. I believe it to be a thoughtful, well-made film that will change many views of Darwin held by the public—for the good. The acting is strong, the visuals are wonderful, and it treats with loving care the Victorian details of the furnishings at Down house and other sites (such as Malvern), and the local church.
The movie takes place after Darwin has returned from the Beagle voyage, and has settled down with his wife, Emma. It concentrates on their relationship, on the growth of their family, and of course, on the production of his most famous scientific work, On the Origin of Species. It looks hard at Darwin’s growing disenchantment with Christianity, especially the concept of Providence, and how poorly it fits Darwin the naturalist’s knowledge of a very unpeaceable kingdom. Darwin’s frequent illness is portrayed with brutal honesty. Sometimes pale, nauseated, unable even to eat dinner with his family, much less work on his science, Darwin is shown suffering from vague symptoms which he attempts to cure with what we would recognize as quack treatments.
A centerpiece of the movie is the death of Annie, the Darwins’ beloved 10 year old daughter, and how it affected the relationship of Charles and Emma.