Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, Emily Watson
Director: James Marsh
Length and Rating: 123 min PG-13
Another film making noise for this year’s awards season is The Theory of Everything. Nominated for five Academy Awards, the film is based off the relationship of theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking, played by Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables, My Week With Marilyn), and Jane Wilde played by Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman, Like Crazy). It’s a cinematic exploration of the couple’s relationship from when they meet at Cambridge, through their time married together, and finishes with the couple ultimately going their separate ways.
Making a movie about Stephen Hawking could tempt some moviemakers from focusing solely on the man’s diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease and how it affected his work. This film does that but chooses to equally focus on the relationship between the couple and how they handled his diagnosis together.
Redmayne and Jones do a superb job in their roles playing the man with the brilliant mind and the woman who chooses to fight with him through all the obstacles. Redmayne, who has already won the Golden Globe and SAG award for his performance, is brilliant. He captures the physicality of the disease but also shows the humor and wit of the man despite the being confined in half the film. It is mesmerizing to watch on screen the journey of the man’s physical decline, starting with the crippling of his hand and ending with him in the man’s iconic wheelchair and voice box.
Jones’ quiet performance is just as moving as Redmayne’s physical one. Portraying a wife who is fully committed to helping her husband and family, she handles Hawking’s illness like no obstacle is too hard to overcome and as an audience you cannot help to root for her to succeed.
It is a beautiful movie, but knowing that it is based off of this real life couple’s relationship makes some of the scenes a little bitter sweet. At the beginning of the movie, it had to show the audience the connection that these two people had before Hawking’s diagnosis. In the limited time it shows the couple’s time at Cambridge, it magnificently convinces the audience that they have a genuine admiration and you could see them living out their lives ‘happily ever after’ together uninterrupted by what life would throw at them. This realization just makes the ending off the film that more heartbreaking. It chooses to not focus too much on the divorce of the couple nor spends too much time with the couple’s other partners.
Ultimately the film does try to leave you feeling good. Showing that despite what these people went through they were still able to do good. Trying to convey the message that just because the end may not have turned out as you expected does not take away from what happened to get you there.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: “I have loved you. I did my best.” – Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones)
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score