Wednesday 7th October


Director: Jon Amiel
Year: 2009
Stars: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Martha West

If you're interested in Darwin and his works, don't approach this thinking you're going to learn about The Origin of Species, or any of the things that Darwin had to say about natural selection. My reason for wanting to see this was somewhat less high brow than that - I knew Dan would be interested, and it sounded fairly good.

The film is about Darwin's life - his family, the death of his daughter, and how he reconciled (or not) his beliefs about natural selection with his belief about God. And it's done fairly well. It's most definitely a good BBC drama though, rather than a big movie. Had it been a BBC1 drama showing on TV on a Sunday night, I'd have been impressed. As it was, seeing it on the big screen, it was only just above average.

The majority of the film is well done and certainly makes you get involved in the character's lives. But there are a few flaws - the use of Darwin's daughter, Annie, is a little bizarre at times, and felt somewhat overused towards the end. But there are also some lovely touches - I defy anybody not to fall in love with that orangutan!

Rating: 4 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.