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Sunday, February 01, 2015

The Theory of Everything (Directed by: James Marsh; Written by: Jane Hawking and Anthony McCarten)

The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde - the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age. He then married fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and went on to become the successor of Einstein, as well as a husband and father to three children. Over the course of their marriage, as Stephen's body collapsed, fault lines were exposed that tested their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both their lives.

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Harry Lloyd, Alice Orr-Ewing, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Charlie Cox

Why I loved this film: Those who go into 'The Theory of Everything' looking for an elaborate account on Stephen Hawking's work and the method behind it may be in for a bit of a letdown as this story mostly focuses on Hawking's long marriage and relationship with his wife, Jane, who wrote the book on which the film is based on. It focuses heavily on the relationship between Stephen and Jane and the hardships they had to deal with due to his disease. Eddie Redmayne does a phenomenal job here. He starts out as a shy, somewhat nerdy student who has a fair bit of humour to him as well as a love of education and finding out the big questions and answers to the universe. As his illness progresses over the years, we see how hard it is for him to move, speak and just do everyday things, whereas he is eventually confined to a wheelchair and speaking through a computer. Redmayne's performance is so believable and wonderful. This year's Oscars are going to be very competitive with another of the year's best performances. Felicity Jones, who plays Jane, is just as good. While the role is not as demanding physically, it is more demanding emotionally as we see her totally devote herself to all of Stephen's every waking needs and going out of her way to care for him. It really made me see a side to Jane that I had no idea about, it made me think that not many women would be up for what she went through.
When the film first started out, I thought it would be a fairly safe and 'ok to watch' movie, but it really took me by surprise at how interesting I found these characters and their lives. The film has an excellent pace to it and its biographical style works well. It really is an inspirational and feel good movie. It gives us hope and encouragement, as Stephen Hawking's famous words state that 'while there is life there is hope'!

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