Movie Title: The Theory of Everything
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 2 hr. 3 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Home
The Theory of Everything is a biopic of the late genius Stephen Hawking that I thought I should get around to watching after Hawking’s passing earlier this year. The movie has a particular focus on his relationship with his wife Jane. It apparently took a very long time to get Jane Hawking to consent to allow for the making of this movie based on her memoir and as a condition to make the movie certain things needed to be omitted making for a somewhat altered story in which those around Hawking tend to get a pass on some of their flaws. Jane Hawking’s attempts to earn her own doctorate are also largely overlooked.
Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) courts Jane (Felicity Jones) while beginning to postulate his theory about the origins of the universe. He is very socially awkward and there are hints early on of his coming degenerative disease. He stumbles easily and lacks strength. After one particular incident he ends up hospitalized and finds out that he has Lou Gehrig’s disease. This diagnosis changes the course of Hawking’s life rapidly. Redmayne does a fantastic job portraying Hawking. He tracked Hawking’s muscle loss and contortions and met with the man to determine how to play the character. He reproduced him incredibly well and earned himself a well-deserved Oscar for the performance. Felicity Jones performance is also excellent as the wife and primary caregiver of Hawking. Her life becomes overwhelmed by his care and she eventually comes to resent him despite her knowledge of his illness.
The character drama plays out through the course of Hawking’s relationship, the development of his theories, and the degenerative effect of his disease. Despite my usual complaints about historical dramas about them being a foregone conclusion, the performances make The Theory of Everything an excellent movie.
The Theory of Everything is a great character drama with great performances. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Ghost in the Shell (2017)