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Creation (2009)

Paul Bettany , Jennifer Connelly , Jon Amiel  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones
  • Directors: Jon Amiel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003GSLVX8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,618 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Creation" on IMDb

Special Features

Audio commentary by director John Amiel
The Battle For Charles Darwin: behind-the-scenes documentary
11 featurettes delving into the life and theories of Charles Darwin

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From director Jon Amiel ("The Singing Detective," ENTRAPMENT) and writer John Collee (MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD) comes CREATION. A psychological, heart-wrenching love story starring Paul Bettany (A BEAUTIFUL MIND, MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD) as Charles Darwin, the film is based on “Annie’s Box,” a biography penned by Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes using personal letters and diaries of the Darwin family. We take a unique and inside look at Darwin, his family and his love for his deeply religious wife, played by Jennifer Connelly (A BEAUTIFUL MIND, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM), as, torn between faith and science, Darwin struggles to finish his legendary book “On the Origin of Species,” which goes on to become the foundation for evolutionary biology. The film co-stars Toby Jones (FROST/NIXON, INFAMOUS) and Jeremy Northam (GOSFORD PARK, AMISTAD), and was produced by Jeremy Thomas (THE LAST EMPEROR, SEXY BEAST) at Recorded Picture Company with BBC Films and Ocean Pictures.

More than 150 years after its publication, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and 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's Creation goes 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 HMS Beagle is 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. Creation is not a documentary; liberties have been taken, and there are multiple sequences, including Darwin's nightmarish fever dreams, that are clearly the invention of the filmmakers. But Bettany and Connelly, who are a real-life couple, are both superb; the cinematography is gorgeous; and various scenes illustrating the notion of "survival of the fittest" in nature are riveting (there won't be a dry eye in the house when Darwin tells his dying daughter about the fate of an orangutan captured in Borneo). And while the tone of the film would seem to favor science over religion, the DVD includes numerous bonus features in which both sides have their say. This one is not to be missed. --Sam Graham

Stills from Creation (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Point for the Darwin Year Celebration April 10, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Of the many fine books, movies, video productions and museum displays produced last year, this one certainly takes the cake. Magnificent production and direction as well as "A-list" acting make this a total delight. And let's not forget the book that it is based on: written by a great, great, grandson of the Darwins with access to private, family materials. What's not to love?
I am today ordering the blu-ray version, but this review is based upon the theatrical release which I happened to catch in New York City in February. I don't believe it was released generally in the US, which is a shame.
I can't recommend the movie (and book) highly enough!
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is amazing March 25, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I have a standing rule not to pay more than $23 for any Blu-ray movie (no need to encourage Hollywood marketeers). That said, I broke that rule for this movie after hearing an interview with the writer and producer on NPR (National Public Radio) then discovered that this disc was worth every penny. One thing you will come away with is the fact that there were many similarities between life in 1859 and today. For example, people of both times were split between theism, deism, and atheism. (Contrary to popular belief, Darwin was somewhere between deist and theist). So does "Darwin's Theory do away with God" as Huxley said, or does it "replace the Genesis story with something more pragmatic"? I prefer to believe that later but you should make up your own mind.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to enjoy "Creation" more than I did. Certainly, the focus upon Darwin's private life - as a husband and a father - is an interesting way to portray the man. Yet, Toby Jones' electrifying portrayal of Thomas Henry Huxley - even though brief - had more moment in the drama than anything the actor did as Darwin. What I did not like about the film is that it made the tremendous genius look like a hallucinating madman in the same way that Vincent Van Gogh is often described as a mentally disturbed artist rather than show these men as the thoughtful intellectuals both of them truly were. It is true that Darwin was emotionally wounded by the deaths of his daughters and that he did worry about the effect of his great idea on contemporary Christian understanding as well as his wife's profound religious views. But actually his wife was far more supportive of his enterprise than is shown in the film...and Charles Darwin's sudden rush to publish the "Big Book" after 1858 was probably spurred by the fear that another scientist would take the credit for the insights he had developed for decades. In summary, see "Darwin's Darkest Hour" for a far more balanced view of the critical year before publication of "On the Origin of Species." Alternatively, there is a very, very good "biography" of Darwin on DVD entitled "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" which is the opening movie in the 7 part "Evolution" series from PBS.

But I will say that the scenes of Darwin interacting with a zoo Orangutan are magical. Now that's something to marvel at.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creation vs. Darwin's Darkest Hour May 8, 2010
By Tero
I own both of these movies and I now like both. I did not initially like Creation for all the drama. But it does focus on the family events and the ethical issues...has he killed God?....quite well.

If you have to watch only one, I would go for Darwin's Darkest Hour. The family drama is there, but the science is there too. Plus it maintains a cool scientist in the background, whereas the Creation Darwin has severe psychological problems.

The book Creation is based on seems to be more factual than the movie. Annie in fact died of a form of tuberculosis.

Creation does outline how far science leaped just then, but how backward medicine still was. Of course, the stimulus to research evolution and biology helped medcicine along as well, at least by 1900.

I have not reviewed Darkest Hour, but I give it 4 as well. Emma Darwin comes out more like the Dr Who sidekick girl in parts of the movie. So the acting was better in Creation, although the script is more fictionalized.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! February 21, 2010
The film is a marvelous masterpiece of a great theme and artistry. All actors are very successful. I am so glad that a film is now available for all of us to see the human side of Darwin and his extraordinary endevour.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As stated in the title, this movie does not attempt to provide any grounds for the Theory of Evolution. Instead, it depicts a realistic story of Darwin's personal struggle that occurs when his faith, his knowledge and his grief over the death of his daughter collide.

The move is rich with imagery. The scenes are beautiful and the acting by Bettany and Connelly are brilliant.

The movie is, at times, dense with flashback scenes and information and requires either the use of "playback" for review or "pause" for discussion. I love films such as these.

Keep up the good work BBC.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OSCAR WINNING QUALITY! July 21, 2010
By A. Kole
Sad, Beautiful, Torn, and yet humble. I cried, I laughed, I was moved. The story was fantasticlly written, and Paul Bettanys performance was awesome. Saw it at the cinema, came home and had to buy it immediately. Pauls performance is definately worth an Oscar. A fantastic movie, you must have.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The human story of Charles Darwin August 27, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Many people will be familiar with the creationist-fueled furore this movie ignited in the United States, but after watching this movie the most striking conclusion that can be drawn from the controversy (as opposed to about the movie itself) is that creationists love to condemn things sight unseen. Far from being an attack on anyone's faith, the movie tells a very moving and very human story about the life, loves, and sufferings of Charles Darwin and his loved ones against the backdrop of writing the Origin of Species. Indeed, though the moviemakers most likely consciously courted controversy by their choice of title, the "creation" referred to is arguably the creative process of writing that famous work.

Though laced with quotes from Darwin's magnum opus, the movie will not tell you much about science or the details of the theory of descent with modification by natural selection (Darwin himself never called it evolution), and though the story does not shrink from raising the many thorny emotional questions and tensions between evolution and faith, it wisely refrains from taking sides. Indeed, some might even object that it portrays the champions of faith, such as Darwin's devoted friend reverend John Innes, in a more sympathetic light than the champions of science, in particular Thomas Huxley's rather unkind cameo, which plays the only slightly sour note in the movie.

More than about the theory or the conflict, however, the story of the movie is a very human story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It is a very good movie. It made me cry
I had to watch this movie for a class I am taking. It is a very good movie.It made me cry.
Published 19 days ago by k.s.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very happy with my purchase , arrived very early , really happy about that .
Published 1 month ago by Aurora Crawford
3.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't expecting this movie to be so sad. It wax still acted and a...
I wasn't expecting this movie to be so sad. It wax still acted and a beautiful story but just too heart wrenching to watch for entertainment which is what I was looking for. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Connie Mulloy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Creation
This film is the reason I love cinema--as it deals with the important questions of life on earth, family, love, the search for truth, and portrays historical episodes as only art... Read more
Published 4 months ago by David Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but inaccurate to the point of wilful propaganda
Beautifully filmed, great acting, wonderful soundtrack.
Another great bit of British BBC periodical costume drama.
And yet....?
Is this a relatively new phenomena... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chris Crookes
3.0 out of 5 stars OKAY IS ALL I CAN MUSTER
Published 6 months ago by Christie Yamasaki
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done!
I knew nothing about Darwin, so this was interesting! All of the actors did a great job! It kept my attention all the way through and it was really enjoyable. Read more
Published 6 months ago by mary jo cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Darwin
I don't know how historically correct this is. I knew Darwin withheld publication of his book for years because he knew how it would impact the world. Read more
Published 7 months ago by A. E. Poe
5.0 out of 5 stars The influence of reality
For me this portrayal of Charles Darwin's search to finally document his historical belief of evolution is a prime example of how his daily life of loss and triumph became a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Scooter Dude
5.0 out of 5 stars Darwin's Theory Vs Religion
My background is chemical eng. I like reading the cradle of civilisation, astronomy, physics, archaeology, palaeontology, biology, anthropology, electronics. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jonatan Sutrisna
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