Creation, the Charles Darwin biopic starring Paul Bettany, will open the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival on September 10. (Jennifer Connelly, Bettany's real-life wife, plays his on-screen wife Emma). The movie, directed by Jon Amiel, is based on the book Annie's Box by Randal Keynes, Darwin's great-great grandson.
As TIFF CEO and director Piers Handling explained the decision:
The tension between faith and reason is prominent in contemporary culture and this intimate look at Darwin puts a human face on a man whose theory remains controversial to this day. We are pleased to open the festival with such an impassioned look at Charles Darwin, especially on the year marking the 200th anniversary of his birth.But the choice has caused controversy—interestingly, not as a result of the subject matter, but because the film doesn't have a Canadian connection. "We have traditionally opened with a Canadian film, but this year we chose to go a different route," TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey said at a press conference yesterday. "We fell in love with this movie and this is the one, we felt, really sets the tone for the kinds of conversations we hope will happen around the films at the festival." —Heather Wax