God-fearing creationists won't find anything to worry them in Jon Amiel's stiff, stodgy, PBS-style telling of the life of Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) during the time he was writing (slowly, very slowly) The Origin of Species. This Darwin is wimpy, sickly, ineffectual, and accused by his favorite daughter of being a procrastinator.
He's scared of his own heretical theories of natural selection — he fears that British society will fall apart, and, worse, he's alienating his cold, church-going wife (Jennifer Connelly). The Darwin story recast as a domestic melodrama could be interesting (think Brecht's Galileo), but this version is offered without wit or irony. What a mundane, disappointing comedown from Amiel, maker of the wondrous The Singing Detective.