The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything (2014)

I’ll admit it, I went into this film with doubts and preconceived notions. I felt I knew this bio-pic was going to prance around the same old tired tropes. You know the ones; a brilliant genius with a fault, he’s an asshole to everyone until he meets “her”, equal parts cool and mysterious as well as dashing and brilliant. All this and more is NOT present (entirely) in The Theory of Everything.

The film does walk a fine line of being a typical bio-pic, forever designed to paint a portrait of notable figures as unbeleivably amazing people in every aspect except for their one flaw that they learn to overcome, yada yada yada. This film has elements of that but it feels like it needed it as a foundation as the reality of the story is Stephen Hawking is the original genius. From that the film really finds its place by centering the world around this great couple, their family and their challenges together. This could have so easily become a checklist of Stephen Hawkings stellar career. Instead the key moments in his career are merely peppered amongst large portions of family struggles, personal battles and the question: how much can love take? The transformation of Jane (played brilliantly by Felicity Jones) over the years with Stephen really show you her struggles with being his caretaker as well as his wife and mother to his children. Her life is consumed by taking care of other people that you really feel a sense of relief when she begins to look out for herself later in the film. Overall it’s a gorgeous film with a compelling story. The music is so lovely and subtle. The entire movie feels like you’re remembering the tales of an old friend. It’s inviting and special and should be celebrated.

The reason you should see this film is because it’s simply lovely. It’s a great insight on a brilliant man, a great love story and a study of the human condition. Not to mention Eddie Redmayne does such a phenomenal job as Stephen Hawking. I was convinced he must have actually contracted ALS because every moment feels so authentic. You can tell he spent a lot of time crafting his character for this film and it really shows you how much of an art form acting can be. Not only in his physicallity but in his way of speaking (even with the voice modulator) he had the snarky attitude and wit of the real Stephen Hawking.

You could argue that it’s classic Oscar-bait having a “transformative” role like this in the running but honestly it is truly something you must see because he encapsualtes the essence of Stephen Hawking brilliantly. I really enjoyed it. My only real negative I can give the film is that I don’t see it as being the kind of movie that could be watched multiple times. It would lose some of it’s lustre upon multiple viewings in my opinion.

My overall rating: 4.5/5

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