This one means well, a kiss-of-death review if there ever was one. Paul Bettany takes an earnest shot at playing Charles Darwin, a 19th-century man obsessed with monkeys, the origin of the species, the death of his favorite daughter and the disapproval of his religious wife (Jennifer Connelly). In other words, director Jon Amiel has reduced a crucial moment in science to a Lifetime weepie about a workaholic who needs personal tragedy to wake him up to his wife's virtues. The fact that Bettany and Connelly are married in real life adds surprisingly little zest. What provocation there is comes in the stillÂtimely debate between science and faith that sneaks in from the sidelines when the tear-jerking momentarily abates.
From The Archives Issue 137: June 21, 1973