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The Theory Of Everything—Movie Review

Eddie Redmayne-Felicity Jones-680Everything adds up—just like a perfectly solved equation—in The Theory of Everything, which profiles
not only the formidable Stephen Hawking but his wife Jane, an impressive woman
in her own right. In fact, Anthony McCarten’s literate and empathetic
screenplay is based on her book, Music to
Move the Stars.
The British film was made with the cooperation of both
parties and their three (now-grown) children, yet it doesn’t gloss over its
subjects’ flaws or foibles. Best of all, Stephen and Jane Hawking are brought
to life with charm and credibility by two gifted actors, Eddie Redmayne and
Felicity Jones.

This is one of the best biographies I’ve seen in a long
time. It sidesteps the pitfalls of Hollywood biopics and offers a candid portrait
of a public figure whose private life and struggles make for compelling drama. We
meet the super-smart Stephen Hawking as a healthy college student and witness
both his flowering as a world-class thinker and the crushing experience of
watching his body succumb to motor-neuron disease. He and Jane Wilde fall in
love just before he experiences the first symptoms of ALS. He tries to push her
away but she refuses to back off, despite predictions that he only has two
years to live.

The raw material of this story is so powerful that even a
mediocre dramatization would command our interest, but director James Marsh
(who won an Oscar for his unconventional documentary Man on Wire), screenwriter McCarten, and the actors go above and
beyond the norm. Redmayne, whose star is understandably on the rise, captures
Stephen’s innate charm and self-effacing humor, while Jones radiates a resolve
and inner strength that is born of genuine love.

Everything about the film is first-class: Benoit Delhomme’s
cinematography, John Paul Kelly’s period production design, Johann Johansson’s
score, and the contributions of such fine actors as David Thewlis, Emily
Watson, Simon McBurney, Charlie Cox, and Maxine Peake.

For once, I wasn’t aware of time going by. The Theory of Everything held me
spellbound. 

4 comments

  1. Robert says:

    I have no patience with the ‘Susan’s–criticism of Israeli policies is no different from criticism of the bush regime and the mess that he got us into in South-West Asia, which will haunt us for a long time to come. Just because they’re Jews, American Jews should not mindlessly support the current government just as fascist in the past have mindlessly supported their supreme leaders…the occupying forces have viciously attack civilians and have done little to support actual peace efforts. this is what is being criticized–Israelis acting like colonial occupiers–or Germans or British or American military in Iraq on a not-so good day; and not like Jews! This is anti-oppression and anti-war and pro-Semitic…oh, yes, the movie was great and very well acted by most–except didn’t quite believe Jane’s portrayal–and perhaps she’s just too young and lovely to look as old and tired as she should have by the end… Stephen Hawking is obviously a very brave gentleman and now I have still another reason to admire him—for standing up for what’s right…bravo!

  2. Paul says:

    Desperately Seeking Susan’s Brain… Do you honestly think Stephen Hawking is an anti semite, Israel hater and seeking retribution against the Jews? Humanity is blessed to have such men as Stephen Hawking who not only pursue the deep underlying structure of nature itself, but also have the conscience and love for humanity to address human rights abuses and try to do their part in making the world a more peaceful place for Jews, Gentiles and all. If wanting a better world is a crime than yes he is guilty.

  3. Jim Reinecke says:

    Hey, Susan, kindly obtain a life. Mr. Maltin is Jewish and I notice that he had the intelligence to objectively review the film and not push some lunatic-fringe political agenda. I don’t have to embrace D.W. Griffith’s pro-Klan attitudes in order to appreciate the artistic and historical importance of THE BIRTH OF A NATION (another film that I’m damn sick and tired of hearing the P.C. crowd whine about) nor do I need to be a Nazi in order to see the brilliance (frightening as it may be) in Riefenstahl’s TRIUMPH OF THE WILL. Please, dear, just chill out!

  4. Susan says:

    I will skip this one since Hawkings is the leader in the scientific field of the Boycott Divest and Sanction Israel movement. I don’t pay to see movies about anti semites and Israel haters and those who seek retribution against Jews. Look it up and you will see that I am not making this up.

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