The most remarkable thing about watching Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking is that it doesn’t feel like you’re watching Eddie Redmayne as Stephen hawking, you’re just watching Stephen Hawking. In terms of an actor, it is a great move forward that embarks a metamorphosis which elevates his career to a whole new level. It’s like he folds into himself, shrinks into the role and has the mannerisms that depict joy, charm, sorrow, mischief and the fact that he manages all that is extraordinary. And what is better than that is that it’s not just about him either, it’s about Felicity Jones and their relationship as well. I was initially worried that she might be left out but the movie is as much about her as it is about Stephen Hawking. It’s a movie with stunning performances.
During the course of the movie when Stephen Hawking is diagnosed with an illness, his life is forever altered. But the power of love unlocks one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century and that’s what makes this movie special. The biopic is enthralling and depicts a compelling drama which is strategic and laudable by the viewer.
The range of emotions exhibited by Redmayne is incredible and honest, especially in that part of the film when he emotes with his body rather than his voice. Redmayne imbues the role with real heart bringing the audience along with an emotional experience. Felicity Jones is equally remarkable as the steadfast and patient wife, who endures more pain and hardship than anyone could’ve asked. She is cautioned early by a concern family member who says, “This will not be a fight, this is going to be a very heavy defeat.”
As with any biopic the narrative sort of meanders from one disconnected milestone to the next with many supporting players popping in and out as required. This is really Eddie and Felicity’s movie though; their passion and chemistry is the undeniable glue that holds this otherwise predictable story together. An early scene where Redmayne compares a brightly lit dance floor to the ultraviolet hues of the cosmos is effective at showcasing their intelligent, yet playful dynamic.
As this is a biographical period drama based on true events, it’s hard not to see “The Theory of Everything as an “Oscar- Bait” picture. Eddie Redmayne has won the lead actor Oscar for his indelible portrayal of Stephen Hawking in one of the most competitive races at the academy awards. Stephen Hawking then congratulated Redmayne on Facebook, writing “Well done Eddie, I’m very proud of you – SH”
Director Marsh’s cinematic style punctuates conventional scenes with somewhat ethereal moments that contain a sort of dreamlike quality about them. All while Johann Johansson’s uplifting piano and string heavy score swells in the background. The PG-13 film doesn’t really make any mistakes, but it never does anything to set itself apart from any other bio-pic. The “The Theory of Everything” may be familiar and depressing, but it’s also an inspiring romance about an influential figure.
This movie reportedly made Stephen Hawking cry. Watch it. You’ll see why.