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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh My God, Charlie Darwin!

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 6:51 PM

click to enlarge MONKEY BUSINESS: Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin
  • MONKEY BUSINESS: Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin is having a banner year. February 2009 marked his 200th birthday, while On the Origin of Species celebrated its 150th anniversary last November. In June, NPR-approved indie rockers the Low Anthem released the record Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, which ruminates on the darker implications of his work. Now U.S. audiences have the chance to see Creation, a melodramatic biopic that desperately tries to inject tension into the story of history’s most controversial evolutionary biologist.

The lives of good writers do not typically lend themselves to gripping movies. Darwin, for example, spent most of his working life as a sickly man, quietly laboring himself to exhaustion at his desk. It’s a romantic sort of dedication, but hardly the stuff of which edge-of-your-seat thrillers are made. Directed by Jon Amiel, Creation clearly aspires for dramatic tension, and relies heavily on voice-over flashbacks as Darwin (Paul Bettany) recalls his worldly travels.

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(Photo by Liam Daniel)

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