What happens when a world-renowned scientist, crushed by the loss of his eldest daughter, formulates a theory in conflict with religious dogma? This is the story of Charles Darwin and his master-work "The Origin of Species". It tells of a global revolution played out within the confines of a small English village; a passionate marriage torn apart by the most dangerous idea in history; and a theory saved from extinction by the logic of a child.Written by
Although actor Toby Jones was advertised as a supporting role, and is frequently shown in the trailer, he is in the movie for less than fifteen minutes in one scene. See more »
The epilogue states "He was buried with full Christian honours, in Westminister Abbey." This should read "Westminster Abbey." See more »
Mr Darwin, sir? Either you are being disingenuous or you do not fully understand your own theory. Evidently, what is true of the barnacle is true of all creatures, even humans. The Almighty can no longer claim to have authored every species in under a week. You've killed God, sir! You've killed God!
See more »
Dedicated to the memory of ... & all those whose lives have been devastated by chronic post-infection diseases. See more »
I saw this film on 19SEP2009 at the Cambridge Film Festival.
The Beagle's only in a couple of short flashbacks, the whole thing is about Darwin's life from 1841 to 1859, when he was ensconced in Kent with his growing family, 200+ pages of Origin had already been drafted and he was wondering whether to complete the book.
The script is based on Randal Keynes's book Annie's Box (Annie, Charles's daughter, died when she was 10). It is mostly a family drama, but does include sex scenes - however, the participants are married, both on and off screen. Not too exciting, not much science but a well-made film that's pleasant to watch and pushes the right emotional buttons. A bit of a romantic weepie, actually. I suppose the conclusion is that you can be an agnostic free-thinking scientist from an atheist family background and still be an emotional romantic as well as an excellent father.
Some of the characters and Darwin himself state or wonder whether he "killed god" but the viewer is able to doubt that. What is beyond doubt, given the deadly struggle for survival and the web of predation on the meadow-bank (well-known before Darwin and completely uncontroversial) and the failure of Darwin's prayers is that the idea of a kind, providential god who loves "his" creatures is untenable.
I really cannot see many Americans objecting to it very much. Some may have problems with the title, which is probably the most controversial thing about the film, or with the fact that Bettany does not have horns, a tail and a pitchfork.
54 of 85 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this