The Theory of Everything (2014)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Theory of Everything</strong> (2014)

(Video on Demand, March 2015)  Perhaps the best things about The Theory of Everything as a biography of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking is how seamlessly it weaves the accomplishments of a top-level scientist with the complicated emotional trajectory of his life, disability and romance included.  Hawking has long been famous for exploring the universe while suffering from almost-absolute paralysis, and the film covers his life over four decades, tracking the disheartening progress of his affliction, the evolution of his marriage (warts and all, daringly enough), his rise to fame and his often infuriating obstinacy.  Eddie Redmayne delivers an Oscar-calibre performance as Hawking, metamorphosing before our eyes from a vibrant young man to the Hawking best-known today.  Felicity Jones also turns in a remarkable performance as his wife Jane, her emotions often bridging the film’s emotional impact from Hawking’s oft-inscrutable expressions.  The film does have a few issues, notably how it downplays some of Hawking’s scientific achievements, makes a lot out of his lack of belief, and soften his legendarily abrasive personality.  Still, the result is a powerful scientific biography, and one that celebrates the human element of a top intellectual’s life.  As far as biographies of British scientists are concerned, The Theory of Everything is a film to be seen alongside Creation and The Imitation Game.

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