‘The Theory of Everything’ is not just a film, it is an experience that opens your eyes to the true meaning of love and perseverance. In one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever seen on screen, Stephen and Jane Hawking show the audience that some things are worth taking risks for and that if you love something, you should fight for it. This is the first film I have seen in 2015 and it is a very good start to a year that is hopefully full of amazing movie experiences.
I have set myself the goal of seeing all the films that are going to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and ‘The Theory of Everything’ is sure to get a well deserved nomination.
The film which is based off of Jane Hawking’s memoire ‘Travelling To Infinity – My Life With Stephen’ tells the story of the relationship between Jane (Felicity Jones) and famed physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne). The film covers their lives from the time they met at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, through the progression of his debilitating disease and his revolutionary work in physics and ends with the publishing of his best selling book ‘A Brief History in Time’.
Even though this film shows a terrible disease such as Lou Gehrig’s disease consume a man, it doesn’t make you feel bad for him, it inspires you. I really didn’t know a lot about Stephen Hawking before seeing this but now I know that this is a man to be envied, not pitied.
When Stephen finds out that he has ALS after he is hospitalized for falling whilst jogging across campus. This scene shows the character having many tests run on him such as a spinal tap and motor control tests. After all the tests are done, they show Hawking in a bathtub looking at his deformed hands and all you see is a broken man. When the doctor gives him the diagnosis that he will only live two years, his response is “What about the brain?”. Even though he has just been given this terrible verdict, he still wants to carry on with his work that will change the face of physics.
There is a lot of science woven into the film because that obviously isn’t something you can not talk about in a film portraying Stephen and Jane Hawking. The main point of the film isn’t the science but this romance between him and his wife. When Jane is told that Stephen only has 2 years to live, she still wants to be with him. They end up getting married, having three children and eventually divorced in 1995. Both would go onto marry again but this still doesn’t negate that Jane and Stephen’s relationship is a love story for the ages.
One of the thoughts I had going into the film was how are they going to portray ALS with an actor who doesn’t have it. Well, Eddie Redmayne did an amazing job in his portrayal. Even when his character has lost the ability to speak, he is still is able to convey incredible emotion and you know how he is feeling every step of the way. He was also able to accurately take on many of Hawking’s mannerisms both pre and post diagnosis.
There is one scene were Hawking’s has just received his doctorate and himself, Jane and a group of friends are celebrating at their home. They are all eating dinner and Stephen is having a difficult time feeding himself when the camera shows Hawking looking at the hands of everyone around him and how they are able to function the way they should. He looks very broken in this moment but not nearly so in what comes next.
He ends up excusing himself to go up stairs and has a very difficult time dragging himself up them. He ends up looking at his concerned son while he lays there and tries to console his child. With tears in his eyes, and mine at this point, Redmayne depicts a physically broken man who has to come to terms that one day he won’t be able to move.
Felicity Jones depiction of Jane Hawking shows you every side of a woman. She effortlessly shows a mother, lover, fighter and intellect. Jane had to give up a lot to take care of her family and Jone’s portrayal really makes you feel the weight that is placed upon her shoulders. Her character says at one point that she doesn’t appear to be strong but she proves to the audience that his is a woman who has the strength to help a man overcome so many obstacles and still maintain a sense of self.
The film ends in this beautiful montage of the film as if it was played in reverse. This is significant because in one of their first meetings, Stephen tells Jane about time and how if the universe were to shrink, time would reverse.
Eddie Redmayne is my favorite to win the Oscar and I feel like I don’t need to see any of the other performances to say that. Felicity Jones also gave an amazing performance and I really do hope that she does well in award season as well.
This movie will fill you up with so many feelings and take you on a journey through time on the backs of one of the greatest love story I will ever witness.
4.5 out of 5 film reels.
‘The Theory of Everything’ was released on November 26, 2014 and stars Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, Emily Watson and Harry Lloyd. The film is directed by James Marsh.