The Theory of Everything
A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.
‘The Theory of Everything‘ tells the remarkable story of Stephen Hawking, the genius physics professor who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease at 21, and was given two years to live. Over 50 years later, Stephen Hawking is still alive, and over that period he has continued to work and produce research beyond anyone’s expectations. Whilst the film covers the main beats of Hawking’s professional career, its primary focus is on his relationship with his wife Jane, who he met at Cambridge and who stuck by him through the toughest periods of his condition.
Hawking is excellently portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, whilst his wife Jane is played by Felicity Jones. Redmayne is terrific in a role that will likely get many (deserved) plaudits, but for me, Jones is the real star of the show here. Excellent in last year’s ‘The Invisible Woman’, she has a more subdued role than Redmayne but she convincingly portrays Jane through all the stages of their relationship, from the happy beginnings to the tougher periods later on when caring for Stephen becomes almost overwhelming. David Thewlis and Charlie Cox have the largest parts out of the supporting cast, and Cox in particular puts in a strong performance as the leader of a local church choir who becomes involved with the family.
Despite the strong material that forms the basis of the film, to some extent ‘The Theory of Everything’ feels slight and I don’t think director James Marsh has done a great job in bringing this extraordinary story to life. The film lives and dies by the central performances, and it’s testament to Redmayne and Jones that they build the believable chemistry of a lived-in relationship, and they elevate the material to a higher level. Overall, ‘The Theory of Everything’ is a good biopic featuring two outstanding lead performances, but it’s a little disappointing that a story that is anything but ordinary is made to feel so at times.
Directed By: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Maxine Peake, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, Abigail Cruttenden, David Thewlis, Christian McKay, Harry Lloyd and Enzo Cilenti