Title: The Theory of Everything
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Release date: September 7, 2014 (USA)
Directed by: James Marsh
Distributed by: Universal Pictures & Focus Features
Running Time: 123 minutes
Rating: PG-13: Contains thematic elements and some suggestive material.
Overview of the plot:
In the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) falls in love with fellow collegian Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). At 21, Hawking learns that he has motor neuron disease. Despite this — and with Jane at his side — he begins an ambitious study of time, of which he has very little left, according to his doctor. He and Jane defy terrible odds and break new ground in the fields of medicine and science, achieving more than either could hope to imagine.
The Theory of Everything begins in the early 1960’s, when Stephen Hawking is a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, where he meets Jane, also a student studying medieval Spanish poetry. Gawky, spectacled and stumbling, Hawking takes a great fall one fateful day and it changes his life forever. Soon after, he’s diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and told he has two years to live. He begins to bottle up his feelings and descends into an understandable state of misery and depression, until Jane shows up and insists that he snap out of it. The two fall in love, despite everything.
This film portrayed its central love story not as a soap-opera melodrama, but as a genuine relationship between two imperfect adults. It acknowledges that good times don’t always last, and they can come in fleeting moments and go just as fast. It honors the struggle of both Stephen and Jane — the fight and the will to live and to be loved.
I absolutely loved this movie. I honestly don’t understand why it isn’t more popular — it deserves so much more recognition than it gets. Eddie Redmayne, as always, was brilliant. His acting skills are truly phenomenal, and his performance as Stephen Hawking did not cease to amaze me. The way he portrayed this character was so believable — the emotion he conveyed without speaking, with just his eyes and his body — wow. That takes skill, and Eddie has it.
Felicity Jones did not disappoint as Jane. She portrayed her flawelessly, and made for a beautiful and strong partner alongside Stephen (Eddie). This was a very well-written and well directed film, and I loved that it focused on the lives of Jane and Stephen — how they met, how they fell in love, and how that love conquered the deepest and darkest moments of their lives. Jane’s endless love and faith for Stephen was truly inspiring — it goes to show just how much the people you love are willing to endure for you — how much they are willing to sacrifice for your happiness.
By the end of the film, I was already crying. It leaves you moved by the story and the lessons taught through it, and makes you look at life on a much larger scale. It opens your eyes to so many different things — our morality, the power of love, the power of hate, the power of our own conscience. This film really is a masterpiece.
*Fun Facts (regarding the historical accuracy)
The film takes various dramatic liberties with the history it portrays. Slate (magazine) wrote that “the Stephen played by Eddie Redmayne is far gentler and more sensitive” than suggested in Traveling to Infinity. They further noted that the character Brian, Hawking’s closest friend at Cambridge in the film, is not based on a real individual but rather a composite of several of his real-life friends. The film alters some of the details surrounding the beginning of Stephen and Jane’s relationship, including how they met, as well as the fact that Jane knew about Stephen’s disease before they started dating. Slate also comments that the film underplays Hawking’s stubbornness and refusal to accept outside assistance for his disorder.
*DISCLAIMER* Please try to refrain from mentioning any spoilers in the comments section. If you’d like to talk about the film in depth, feel free to contact me 🙂