|Review by Benn Robbins|
Eddie Redmayne is perfectly cast and gives an outstanding performance as astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Academy Award winning director, James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything is based on the memoirs of Jane Hawking entitled Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. As his girlfriend and his equally amazing wife she is wonderfully portrayed by Felicity Jones.
The story begins with young Hawking as a Cosmology student at Cambridge University in 1963 and his chance meeting with Jane at a party and their extraordinary relationship and marriage.
Hawking was, as you know, diagnosed with motor neuron disease.
The film becomes a study of both how Professor Hawking deals with and overcomes the body shattering illness as it attacks his body as well as how Jane and Stephen deal with their relationship and try to make it work in a world where this disease usually took it’s victims within 2 years of diagnosis.
The film is beautifully shot and the story is extremely compelling. As someone who learned about Professor Hawking in the mid 80’s, it was fascinating so see his early life and even though it was “Hollywood-ized”.
My only issue with the film was that it ends up being a “greatest hits” of sorts as they try to hit all the crucial key points in the lives of Jane and Stephen Hawking. By making it a film about two people and their struggles instead of a film about a single person, the filmmakers seemed to have run into the old issue of “not enough time” to show us everything, at least without making this the Wyatt Earp of motor neuron disease films.
Personally, I very much enjoyed this film. It may be sappy, full of romantic film tropes,
and kind of cliché but, in the end it i a very good representation, to me, at least, of the trials and tribulations of not only Dr. Hawking but of his devoted and very loving wife.
If you are looking for an inspiring, romantic comedy with equal parts humor and drama, then please check out The Theory of Everything.