It’s 1858 and Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) is struggling to complete his book on natural selection. He’s ill and withdrawn from his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly; Mrs Bettany in real life too). Darwin is still tormented over the death of his favourite daughter, Annie. As Emma is also his first cousin, was Annie’s illness due to a hereditary weakness? Meanwhile, how will his beloved wife, a committed Christian, deal with any outcry over his book? “Science is at war with religion,” his colleague claims, but Darwin is a reluctant general. This low-key film is a little lacking in cinematic drama but it packs an emotional punch. 7/10


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