The first time I saw a trailer for The Theory of Everything I knew it would be a Best Picture nominee, and I would have bet any amount of money that Eddie Redmayne would be nominated for Best Actor. So there weren’t any surprises there when the nominees were announced. The movie depicts the life of Stephen Hawking without focusing on his work and accomplishments; instead the focus is on his life and relationships, primarily his relationship with his wife, Jane.
I really enjoyed this film. I am not a science person at all – in fact it was my worst subject in school. Therefore I really appreciated that the movie focused on the human aspect, not on the science. This felt like a very human film. I really loved the moments of genuine humor in the film, which balanced the more dramatic moments. I want to say that this movie had a lot of heart, but then it sounds like I’m saying it made an effort to do something it didn’t accomplish. Rather I think it accomplished quite a deal. A lot of heart and emotion went into the making of this film, and I think that showed on camera.
The entire cast was fantastic. Eddie Redmayne is the standout of course, because his performance was practically flawless. He truly became Hawking. I recently discovered the 2004 made-for-TV movie Hawking, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, and I was amused two actors who have played Hawking are now up for Oscars in the same category. As much as I love Cumberbatch, I must say that Redmayne’s performance in the role impressed me far more. Where Cumberbatch’s acting is precise, Redmayne is just a little more fluid and better for the role.
Felicity Jones was beautiful as well and was not at all overshadowed by Redmayne – if anything she would occasionally steal the screen from him. She is certainly deserving of her best actress nomination, and while I haven’t yet seen all the performances in that category, she is my favorite so far. I also really enjoyed Harry Lloyd and Charlie Cox. I like both actors and hadn’t realized they were in this film, so that was a pleasant surprise.
If I had any criticisms of this film it would be that it seems like in the last hour and a half they fast-forwarded through time to get to the ending they wanted, while the spent much more time on the earlier years of the Hawkings’ relationship. This made the pacing feel a bit off, but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the film.
Favorite Moment: There some truly wonderful moments in this film. One of my favorites was a brilliant Doctor Who reference that I don’t want to spoil for fans who haven’t yet seen it.
1. The Theory of Everything
2. The Imitation Game