Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Theory of Everything - Movie Review

The Theory of Everything is a movie about professor Stephen Hawking directed by James Marsh and is based off of a novel written by Jane Hawking. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, Christian McKay, Harry Lloyd, and David Thewlis.

Stephen Hawking (Redmayne) spent most of his young life focusing on his studies until one day he crossed paths with a young arts scholar named Jane (Jones) who presented just as much of an intriguing challenge to him as any physics equation he had ever been presented with. The two quickly realized that, despite some fundamental differences in how they perceive the world, there would be no cosmic or spiritual force that could keep them from spending their lives together. Ironically, a physical dilemma would soon present itself as a challenge to their new found love as Stephen, who had just received his PhD, is diagnosed with a motor neuron disease that slowly deteriorates his body's ability to function.

Going into this movie, I didn't know much more than the basics and was keeping an open mind as far as what to expect. Friends had given me mixed reaction and the critical response seemed to be favorable, especially for the acting performances turned in by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. After seeing it for myself, I would have to agree with all of the above. While the story is solid, I felt like it was trying to be more profound than it actually was and ended up not giving some of the emotional punches I was hoping for. That being said, it was still very enjoyable and my complaints are small compared to all the things it gets right.

Eddie Redmayne is going to get nominated for lots and lots of awards. His work in this film should elevate him further into the upper echelon of talented young actors working today. Aside from his ability to fully embody the character he is playing, there is an unmistakable charisma and charm that makes him such a likable person to watch on screen and this plays very well during the times in the movie when Hawking's ability speak is either impaired or removed altogether. Without his ability to convey such a range of unspoken emotion, I don't believe the movie would have worked nearly as well as it did. This is truly a performance that deserves every bit of recognition it will receive.

Aside from Redmayne's outstanding performance, I'm not sure how memorable of a film this will be in the long run. The Theory of Everything is definitely a movie worth watching and the story is full of the type of emotions that can draw audiences in although I still feel like it was reaching for something more grand than it was ultimately able to achieve.


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