I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
This is my fifth review of the year and the third biopic nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. I’m not sure what that tells us.
This true story is that of world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane as they both deal over the years with his deterioration at the hands of a terrible illness.
Eddie Redmayne portrays Stephen Hawking from his days as a PHD student in Cambridge till after his rise to fame after writing his bestselling book, A Brief History of Time. And he does absolutely brilliantly. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a medical condition which causes loss of motor skills in many thousands around the world and caused even more, myself included, to suffer the Ice Bucket Challenge. Over the course of the film you see Redmayne portray how Hawking was transformed by ALS from an able-bodied young man to a much older paralysed one in a way that never seems forced.
Not to be ignored is Felicity Jones as his first wife Jane, who wrote the book on which the film is based. She does a great job at showing the strain a marriage can have when confronted with such a debilitating disorder.
There is no bad guy in this movie. One could argue the only nemesis to Professor Hawking is time, a phenomenon he has spent his life studying.
His studies are explained in layman’s terms which help you understand while not distracting you from the story’s focus, the relationship between the two main characters.
There are conflicting reports on the nature of Stephen Hawking. Some have said that he is boastful and arrogant about his own genius. This film doesn’t really delve into that, but doesn’t ever deny it. Considering nobody portrayed in the film has publicly voiced any complaints against The Theory of Everything, its accuracy is not something I can comment on.
I don’t believe that this film is the best of the year, however its acting is fantastic, its direction clever and its pacing, for the most part (considering it is a biopic of a 72 year old scientist) very good.
All in all, a joyous look at a relationship shattered by a harsh reality.
Recommended Scenario: When you want to learn about physics, medicine and love. (I ordered those three in ascending order of complexity.)
If what I have written tells you that you would like this film, you can book tickets to see it at your local Cineworld here.