Friday, September 11, 2009

Roger Ebert on Creation

The Toronto International Film Festival opened last night with Creation, the new Jon Amiel film about Charles Darwin starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. Here's Ebert's reaction. It's not a review but more of a commentary, and I'm somewhat torn by what I read. Some of the details Ebert gives are clearly melodramatic flourishes (Charles walking out of a sermon on Genesis, Emma's "fervent" Christianity, Annie's alleged contribution to embolden Charles to publish Origin), but then making a movie of someone's actual life would be a boring affair without a little drama thrown in. I wonder whether the movie will wallow in the alleged faith/science conflict or merely skirt that issue? Ebert says that it is never dealt with directly, which I find slightly reassuring, even if the added bits of drama cause me to roll my eyes.

Ebert seems quite self-assured about the creation/evolution issue, which anyone who followed his reactions to Expelled already knew. He doesn't seem to have a very well-informed opinion, though. He characterizes modern opposition to Darwin as "limited to a fundamentalist minority of American Christians." That's not exactly correct. They're not all American or fundamentalist. I suspect it's also debatable whether it's a minority of Christians, but I can't say that for sure.

Meanwhile, there's been a bit of brouhaha over TIFF opening with a British film rather than a Canadian one. Read about that in the Reuters coverage.