Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
Director: James Marsh
Running Time: 123 mins
The Theory Of Everything is a British film about the life of Professor Stephen Hawking, from his time as a student at Cambridge University to becoming one of the world’s leading cosmologists, and the woman who helped him fight the disease that threatened his life.
This is a beautiful film. I was ready to dismiss it as Oscar bait as I felt about The Imitation Game, and whilst I can see that there is a degree of sucking up to the Academy, this film is still a masterful display of great storytelling, brilliant acting and a beautiful score that all come together to make one of the most inspiring films I’ve ever seen.
That’s what surprised me most about this film, that, despite the gravity of its story, it made me smile. The word ‘inspiring’ is thrown around a lot nowadays, and I don’t think it has the same effect as it should, but this film really got me for that.
It wasn’t just Stephen Hawking’s strength in fighting his terrible disease that affected me so much, but also the fact that his wife, Jane, stayed by his side for so long despite facing terrible adversity and tough times, and that their relationship and family kept together for as long as it did really got me.
It’s not necessarily a tear-jerker of a film, but it’s got a brilliantly optimistic message and a constantly upbeat atmosphere despite telling what is at points quite a heavy-going story, which is what makes it such a delightful pleasure to watch.
Yes, the story of this film is more based on the romance between Stephen and Jane Hawking, as it’s based on her book Travelling To Infinity: My Life, and whilst it does pay some degree of attention to Professor Hawking’s scientific work, it doesn’t really give you the sense of the importance of his research, instead it’s the romance that’s the most prevalent part of the story, but it still feels appropriate and definitely not trivialised to me.
Away from the brilliant storytelling, this film is anchored by two stunning central performances. Eddie Redmayne really takes on Stephen Hawking’s persona convincingly, and does a fantastic job of being the centre of inspiration in the whole film, however I thought that Felicity Jones, playing his wife, was outstanding here, providing a role that not only clearly represented the strong voice of reason, but showed how caring and strong Mrs. Hawking was despite the real struggle it was at times for her to be with the man she loved.
Finally, the score here is just brilliant. It’s an elegant and beautiful sound that really resonates within the film, and creates such a moving atmosphere throughout that helps to give the story its fantastic optimism that made me love it so much, and that’s why it gets an 8.5 from me.