Fest opener breaks from tradition

It’s a bold move by Toronto to break with tradition and open with a non-Canadian movie. Clearly Piers Handling believes that “Creation” is special enough to take the pressure. In justifying his selection, Handling referenced the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, but that would be irrelevant if the film didn’t deliver the goods. Coming from British producer Jeremy Thomas and directed by Jon Amiel, it’s the story of how Darwin developed his theory of evolution while coping with the death of his daughter, and his wife’s religious faith. John Collee’s script is adapted from “Annie’s Box” by Darwin’s own great-great-grandson Randal Keynes.

The Darwins are played by real-life husband and wife Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. BBC Films, Icon, Taiwanese equity investor Ocean and Toronto’s own banking outfit Aver put up the coin — so there’s something for the local crowd to cheer. HanWay Films is handling sales, and will be hoping to nail a North American deal on the back of a big Toronto reaction.

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