Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Theory of Everything – 2015

Theory-of-Everything-PosterJames Marsh delves back in time and revisits the life and times of Stephen Hawking; the intellectual phenomenon responsible for revolutionary change in the way perceive our universe. Not quite sure what to think about this recent biopic, I went in expecting nothing and left with plenty.
The biopic is something of a hit and miss genre; a genre where narrative fiction can overpower fact in order to make for a more film-appropriate structure. Either way, the biopic is a risky project to undertake, especially when dealing with the likes of Hawking himself.
Thankfully, Marsh has delivered an excellent account of a man’s life that is heartbreaking and inspiring like you’d never believe. Furthermore, it has the Hawking seal of approval!

Eddie Redmayne plays Hawking, and straight off the bat I must commend him for his sensational efforts. Redmayne is an actor who I haven’t seen in many films, but his performance in “Les Miserables” brought him to my attention. His follow up feature solidifies him as a standout talent who has a prosperous future ahead of him. I can’t praise Redmayne enough about his efforts as Hawking.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 8.33.16 pmHe is so convincing and impressive in the embodiment of the incredibly challenging and diverse figure, he does the genius justice and transforms completely, eliminating any essence of Redmayne in the process. According to the trivia associated with the film, Stephen Hawking stated in an email that throughout certain points of the film, he thought that he “was watching himself”. What better validation of a portrayal in a biopic can you get?!
I don’t usually begin a review with notes on a performance, but on the rare occasion they’re as amazing as this, I simply can’t help myself.

But now back to the story. “The Theory of Everything” is a compelling, touching exploration into the man that Stephen Hawking was before his disease got the better of him as well as the incredibly important individual he grew to become.
Along the journey, we experience the relationship between Hawking’s college friends, mentors and of course, his wife Jane, whose tale itself is one full of struggle and hardship. Not only is “The Theory of Everything” an emotional account of Hawking’s troubles with motoneuron disease, it explores the broad areas of care, love and overall human condition. 

x900Science clashes with religion, sympathy clashes with stubbornness and resistance clashes with love throughout the film, and it combines to make some truly emotional scenes.
Again, the emotional arks and expressions of Redmayne as well as Jones create an excellent bond that is compelling to view. Performances are excellent all round, and with a brilliant piano/string score to accompany, “The Theory of Everything” is truly a surprisingly impressive feature!

Well written, supremely acted and very well directed, “The Theory of Everything” is one that came out of nowhere for me. I greet biopics with a lot of scepticism nowadays as more often than not I feel as though they’re made simply for the hell of it.
“The Theory of Everything”, however, is an example of how a biopic can be a success through detailed exploration into the subject, as well as appropriate casting who are willing to put in equal effort in their portrayals. Redmayne is Oscar-worthy as Hawking, and the feature overall is an exploration and celebration of one of Earth’s most important individuals. 

4.5/5

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One comment on “The Theory of Everything – 2015

  1. Noémie
    January 2, 2015

    I was so happy to find Redmayne in a good movie since “My week with Marilyn”. He’s such a great actor but played in so many crap movies. Except those 2, I feel like the BBC was the only place he could find good characters and stories! (yes I’ve seen pretty much all his work, searching for something good…).

    I really think that this movie shows completely how good he can be. Doing what he did with the Theory of Everything (even more that they don’t shoot chronologically) will hopefully give him more opportunities later (but I’m affraid with Jupiter Ascending…).

    I didn’t grade it that high but I share most of your opinions about the movie itself 🙂 I just felt that is was “too” perfect.

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