The Theory of Everything is not so much the story of Stephen Hawking and his battle with a debilitating illness; moreover it is the telling of one woman’s love for her husband and her battle to help him overcome such obstacles. Jane Hawking’s drive to normalcy, a primary desire to allow her husband to fulfill his academic potential and define Time itself would not be broken by some physical barrier such as motor neuron disease.
While many will laud Eddie Redmayne‘s performance as the world’s pre-eminent theoretical Physicist/ Scientist, it is Felicity Jones‘ performance as his wife, Jane Hawking, that is the real pillar of strength running through The Theory of Everything. A nuanced portrayal that belies the strength within the character. Please don’t get me wrong; Eddie Redmayne absolutely nails it as Stephen Hawking, his descent from upright Cambridge scholar to wheelchair bound professor is a study in physical acting that rends the spirit and draws us towards him. To be able to witness Ms. Jones and Mr. Redmayne on screen at the same time is a joy to behold.
Let’s be clear; James Marsh‘s film is by no means perfect, but there are moments that elevate The Theory of Everything above your usual biopic. The use of “home movie footage” montages to expedite matters is hardly groundbreaking and in the grand scheme of things the story of one man’s attempts to create a defining equation to “explain everything” is hardly blockbuster material. That this man defies all odds and lives well beyond the predicted 2 year survival rate is extraordinary. What pulls us along are the performances and that is what makes The Theory of Everything well worth spending 2 hours of your life to witness. I’m glad I invested the time to see it.
Thank you for reading 🙂