MOVIE REVIEW: The Theory of Everything

This movie review does not contain spoilers.

the theory of everythingThe relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife, Jane.


Before watching this film, I knew very little about Stephen Hawking’s life. I knew of him as a famous physicist, and I can recognise both him and his computerised voice on sight and hearing. But that was about it. I don’t pretend that watching The Theory of Everything makes any viewer an expert on Hawking’s life but it certainly has opened my eyes and given context to such a familiar yet unfamiliar personality.

Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Stephen Hawking is breathtaking, and for a few brief moments I wondered whether it was truly Redmayne on the screen or if Hawking had made a cameo appearance. His acting, especially after Hawking’s tracheotomy renders him speechless, is nuanced and carefully balanced to provide the audience with a continued sense of personality and humanity, rather than surrendering to acting out the disease.

I don’t think I’ve seen any of Felicity Jones’s previous performances but I’m not surprised to find that she’s been acting for 20 years. Her portrayal of Jane Hawking is delivered with undeniably complicated emotion and depth. Not once did I stop to wonder about Felicity Jones the actress: I was watching Jane Hawking leap from the script (and the novel on which it was based) and act out her incredible life.

Around these two, the whole world within this film falls effortlessly into place. The supporting cast is composed of thoughtful, honest portrayals but the characters simply fade into the background, in most ways outshone by the stunning story unravelling around them.

 

The verdict

I was simply blown away by The Theory of Everything. The success truly hinges on the portrayals of Jane and Stephen Hawking and there could have been no better choices for those roles than Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne.

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