One might not really expect the director of The Core to follow it up with a biopic of Charles Darwin, but that’s what Jon Amiel has done in Creation (via some tv work). Most of the time, the phrase “mixed reviews” is used as a euphemism for “negative reviews” but this really did get mixed reviews, some critics loving it and some hating it. Darwin is one of my favourite Britons so I greatly look forward to it; another reason is to experience Christopher Young’s delicious score in context. While he still works frequently in the genre, Young succesfully shook off his typecasting as “the horror guy” a few years ago (perhaps his Golden Globe nomination for 2001’s The Shipping News signalling the final shackle coming off); and this is probably his strongest “serious” score since then.
With spellbinding themes, Young’s score is a melodic treat. There are certainly hints of the temp-track (James Horner’s A Beautiful Mind in particular, in terms of film music – even the four-note danger motif is here – and others have noted a similarity with James Newton Howard’s The Village, though I’d suggest both these scores took inspiration from a similar place rather than one inspiring the other) and Young even acknowledges one of his influences with his witty track title “Partly Part”. This is one of those film scores blessed with a certain hypnotic beauty – you won’t hum the themes while you’re out walking the dog (especially if you don’t have a dog, I guess) but they weave around and get deep inside you. This is serious, intelligent music from one of the finest film composers of the day and is highly recommended. ****