Toronto – The 34th Toronto International Film Festival® opens September 10 with the world premiere Gala Presentation of Creation, directed by Jon Amiel (The Core, Entrapment, The Man Who Knew Too Little). Produced by Jeremy Thomas, the film tells the life story of Charles Darwin starring Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code, Wimbledon, A Beautiful Mind) as Darwin and Jennifer Connelly (He’s Just Not That Into You, The Day the Earth Stood Still, A Beautiful Mind) as his wife, Emma.
“The tension between faith and reason is prominent in contemporary culture and this intimate look at Darwin puts a human face on a man whose theory remains controversial to this day,” says Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “We are pleased to open the Festival with such an impassioned look at Charles Darwin, especially on the year marking the 200th anniversary of his birth.”
“We are honoured to open the Festival with Jon Amiel’s latest feature,” says Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “By telling a story on many levels, weaving scenes from past and present, this depiction of Darwin promises to deeply move audiences by drawing them into the conflicted mind of a man who presented a concept that changed the world.”
Part ghost story, part psychological thriller, part heart-wrenching love story Creation is the story of Charles Darwin. His great, still controversial, book The Origin of Species depicts nature as a battleground. In Creation the battleground is a man’s heart. Torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place, Darwin finds himself caught in a struggle between faith and reason, love and truth.
The Darwin we meet in Creation is a young, vibrant father, husband and friend whose mental and physical health gradually buckles under the weight of guilt and grief for a lost child. Ultimately it is the ghost of Annie, his adored 10-year-old daughter, who leads him out of darkness and helps him reconnect with his wife and family. Only then is he able to write the book that changed the world.
Written by John Collee and based on the Randal Keynes biography of Darwin titled Annie’s Box, Creation was co-developed by Recorded Picture Company with BBC Films and the UK Film Council.