Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: Creation (2009)

I just got done watching Creation on InstantPlay with Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin and real life wife Jennifer Connelly as wife Emma. I've been meaning to watch it for awhile (costume drama, has Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany's a fave) but was never really in the mood for an intense drama on evolution.

I can't say that I was particularly in the mood for one tonight, but I was pleasantly surprised. Very slow going at first, and never really too terribly thrilling, the overall feel of the movie was nonetheless appropriate and comfortable for the subject matter. A gem at playing specksy pre-electricity naturalists (Master and Commander) Bettany turned in a great performance as perhaps the most famous of them all. The movie shows Darwin's struggle to come to terms with the death of his eldest daughter Annie (played by a beautiful, charismatic and toothy Martha West), finish his studies on evolution and publish a book "disproving God" while having marital problems with his very religious wife. After seeing or reading an interview where Bettany tells how before filming he doubted his wife's ability to pull off an English accent, I'd say Connelly did wonderfully well, with the accent and the role, but I'm also a sucker for her since A Beautiful Mind (another Bettany/Crowe favorite).

Anyway, I seem to be rambling. Awe yes, I was very pleasantly surprised by Bettany's portrayal of Darwin as a devoted family man (which he historically was). His scenes with his daughter Annie, flashbacks with his infant children and family time on the beach or watching a fox kill a rabbit were touching and heart warming. Overall the movie was well focused and I enjoyed it a lot. 

Costumes were well done, esp Mrs. Darwin's maternity wear (I'm a sucker for old-timey maternity wear). I was especially captivated by the hair design. Present Darwin was balding rather badly and flashback Darwin was not. Based on the shadow evident of Bettany's hairline in some scenes (if you are able to grow hair it's hard to hide the fact, even after a fresh shave) I'd say they shaved his head and he was wigged. I'd be surprised if this wasn't the case and a bald cap was used. Most surprising for me was a very close shot of Darwin's eye as he woke up one morning and the fact that a) his eyebrow lace was blatantly visible and b) he wore eyebrow pieces! I had no doubt his chops were fake and I knew Bettany had very light eyebrows, but I was shocked they didn't just dye them! Maybe this way was just easier? At any rate, you think they could have gone back in and edited those 5 frames so you couldn't see the lace. I only noticed a brow shift once after I knew they were pieces. Other than that Connelly and the little girls had some very pretty hairstyles. Connelly's wig and chignon was surprisingly thick and large but I've been learning that yes, some women are blessed/cursed with that much and thick of hair.

1 comment:

  1. How mean to think his wife couldn't pull off a British accent. I might watch this one because I love Paul Bettany.