(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
The Theory of Everything is a greatly acted and a very interesting, Eddie Redmayne has definitely acted terrifically and captured more than the essence of Stephen Hawking, a bit predictable with some slow parts, but it is a good blend of science and lifestyle in this movie that will definitely get some Oscar consideration. Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
I really do enjoy biographical movies. These types of movies really help me learn about a certain person, and teach me about their history and what they really have to go through. Some of my favorites are X, where Denzel Washington played Malcolm X (and was snubbed to win the Best Actor Oscar), Will Smith playing Muhammed Ali in Ali, Jesse Eisenburg playing Mark Zuckerburg in the surprisingly good movie, The Social Network and Jaime Foxx playing Ray Charles in Ray. There are plenty of good biographical movies to name, and there were some that I was disappointed in like Ashton Kutcher playing Steve Jobs in Jobs. There are some that I enjoyed the acting but not the movie like Daniel-Day Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln and Colin Firth playing King George VI in The King’s Speech. Bottomline, this actors really try to get the essence of the person they are playing and sometimes, they really become the person they are portraying. In The Theory of Everything, this movie portrays about the life of Stephem Hawking. I will be honest, I knew of Hawking, but I didn’t really know what he is all about. So I watched this movie with a lot of curiosity. The movie not only informed, but it made me respect what Stephen Hawking is all about. I will start with what I liked, to the so so.
What I liked, let me start by saying the acting in this movie is superb. Eddie Redmayne not only portrayed Stephen Hawking, he was Stephen Hawking. The way he made is transitions from being a normal, but smart and quirky man until he was diagnosed with Lou Gherig’s disease, also known as ALS, and seeing how his body detiorates little by little. The way Redmayne contorted his body to show how the disease is affecting him was really some powerful acting. I almost believe that Redmayne was really suffering like how Stephen Hawking was suffering with the disease. It is a dreadful experience where one day you are normal, then the next you can’t walk or move, next you can’t eat or speak, until you can’t move at all. With all that said, the movie shows that Hawking still continues to do his work and creating theories about our universe, like The Big Bang Theory, he knew that his brain won’t be affected and knew that he can still do his work one way or another. He didn’t let his disease hold him back, it actually made him more of a genius. I like how Redmayne still showed emotion and wit as he is suffering through this disease. He still shows how happy he is and jokes a lot about himself, and he is always cracking a smile. He shows when he is sad and tears up when something dreadful has happened. Even when he is using his computerized talker, he still showed emotion through that robotic tone. One powerful scene when he is being interviewed in America and sees a girl drop her pen, and he envisions himself standing up and picking it up. It shows that he does wish he had a normal life, but when he responded to a tricky question, he kept his composure and continues what he has best. I really don’t see anybody else taking the Best Actor Oscar than Redmayne. To me, it’s in the bag. Most of the movie shows his relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde Hawking played by Felicity Jones. Jones played Jane tremendously as well. She showed how strong of a women she is in being the wife of a husband with ALS. However, the strong can grow weak, and it did happen to her. Some people may say that it’s not fair for Hawking, because she knew what she was getting herself into. I’m like, no she didn’t, she thought she was doing this for two years. What she didn’t know is that Hawking is a fighter and still living today. Any normal person would be sick and tired of dealing with it, but she still did anyways, and to me that makes her stronger. I don’t condone her having an affair with Jonathan Jones, played by Charlie Cox, a person who is a good friend of Hawking and a tremendous helper for him and Jane. However, she did tell the truth to Hawking when asked, and instead of him being mad, he understood that she needs a normal life. I liked that they still remained friends, with Hawking reminding her that they do have a great family no matter what happened between them. It’s sad, but that is love, and you have to make sacrifices. It’s crazy to find out that the screenplay was adapted by Jane Wilde Hawking’s autobiography, Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, which means the movie tells her side, but with love not hate. That is some powerful stuff that we can learn. Director James Marsh really brings out the emotion in his characters for this movie, and paints a nice picture of Hawking’s life through the different times. The interesting camera angles, face close ups, and spirals really gave the movie life. He also brought out the stars which gives a good picture to see what Hawking is thinking through his own eyes. It was intelligently awesome directing. One part that I find interesting is that the movie made it clear that Hawking is an athiest, and Jane is a Christian. Hawking was adamant that science and spirituality don’t mix which leads to many arguments with Jane on that subject. However, in his latest book, A Brief History of Time, he says that there is a possibility that there is a God, and some things may be created by some kind of intelligent design. Being a Christian myself, I believe athiest aren’t true athiest, they are either making excuses, or just need more proof. Even with that, we have a choice in what we believe and it takes faith to believe one way or the other, even if science is involved.
The so so, I didn’t know much about Stephen Hawking before I watched about this movie, but I still found it predictable. I knew that Jane will become depressed and have a normal, and I kind of knew that she will have an affair with Jonathan and ultimately leading to their divorce. I liked the way they told that story, but there was nothing surprising. A risk that biographical movies take, but if they tell the story right, it will be respectable. There were some slow parts in the movie especially in the beginning where Hawking is having intelligent conversations with people. I tried to keep up, but it can get exhausting, and (not to sound evil) want the movie to hurry up to him getting the ALS disease. Not to be nitpicky, but when Hawking tries to talk and have conversations, it was hard to understand sometimes and some subtitles would’ve helped.
Overall, I believe this movie will have plenty of Oscar nominations, with Redmayne winning the best actor. I’m 90% sure that will happen. (You can put that in the bank.) I read that when the real Stephen Hawking saw the movie, and now he’s at a point where his disease had full control where he can’t move at all, a tear came down from Hawking’s face. The movie did Hawking justice in not just showing how brilliant of a man he is, but that this guy had true human emotion and shows that he is a guy that truely cares. I respect him now thanks to the movie, and strongly suggest to donate at ALS.org!!! Final Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.