Movie Title: The Theory of Everything
Date Released: November 26th, 2014
Date Seen: December 11th, 2014
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
A fantatsic movie based on Jane Hawking’s memoirs. We follow Jane (Felicity Jones) and Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) from their first meeting at a party all the way up to meeting the Queen of England. We get to see their relationship go through all the usual highs and lows, plus the added stress of a diagnosis of ALS. We see the change in Stephen, both physically and emotionally, as the disease progresses. We also see how this diagnosis affects everyone around him, from Jane, quite obviously, to even his friends and collegues at school.
The best part about this movie is the phenomenal acting on all fronts. Eddie Redmayne undergoes a shocking physical transformation, so much so that you’d swear you were looking at Stephen Hawking at times. The little details he does are phenomenal. Just watching how his gait changes, and starting to get tripped up on his own legs is incredible. Then we add in the point where he’s paralyzed, and we only have his eyes to go off of for emotion – and he still manages to get it across. His performance is exceptional. I hope he wins the Best Actor Oscar, because he very very much deserves it. The movie would not be the same without his performance. The other performances were all equally great. Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking goes through a similar “change” in the movie, but it’s much subtler and slower. She did a great job as well. One of the reasons I liked this movie is that there’s not a person you dislike. You love all of the characters. They feel so strongly towards Stephen and his family that you can’t help but adore everyone in his life. My favorite supporting character was Charlie Cox as Jonathan Hellyer Jones.
Another great thing about this movie (in my mind) is the roller coaster of emotions you go through. You can go from crying one scene, to estaticly happy the next – and you’re ok with that. Sometimes there’s not even always sad crying going on, there’s some happy crying. You really connected with all of the characters and wanted to see them happy and do well. And even though you “know” the story, that Stephen Hawking is diagnosed with ALS and eventually loses the ability to speak, is paralyzed, etc., you are never bored. Because the movie is about the effect this has on everyone. This means that you stay interested in the entire movie.
I’ve seen some complaints online that the movie didn’t delve so deep into Stephen Hawking’s academic achievements. We see them, yes, but we don’t get a lot of meat. I’m ok with that – what do we know Stephen Hawking the most for, his academic achievements. It’s nice to see a story of the man (and his family) behind the academic achievements. The story shown in this movie is the story that I didn’t know, and it’s good to see that. Yes, there are surely things that are not really “true”, but considering that both Jane Hawking and Stephen Hawking approved of the movie, that makes me feel good about it.
I loved this movie, which is saying a lot coming from someone who doesn’t really do “romance” movies. It isn’t really that, it’s more the story of a family and how they manage to adapt their lives to a disease. One of them just happens to be the smartest man alive, whatever. It’s a great movie, definitely go see it.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
Nothing I really want to say down here. I do want to mention something I loved (without spoiling it for anyone because it was a nice surprise). I loved seeing Hawking interact with his kids at different stages of the disease. Yes, some moments were very sad, such as knowing “this is probably the last time he’ll be able to (do whatever) with his kids”, or even just simple things like hold his kids in his own arms without help. But others are extremely happy and fun – like when they play with the wheelchair and chase each other around. There’s even the hilarious Dr. Who joke at one part. The moments helped remind you that this is a real person, with a real life, and real experiences, and we are just getting a little glimpse into that amazing life.
Loved this movie, fantastic acting, all around great. Go see it. I can’t say enough about it.