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article imageReview: ‘The Theory of Everything’ misses nothing Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Nov 28, 2014 in Entertainment
‘The Theory of Everything’ is an inspiring biopic about Stephen Hawking that is well-deserving of its Oscar buzz, especially in regards to its main actor.
There are celebrities, and there are great and/or brilliant people who become famous on account of their accomplishments. Perhaps they share a desire for recognition, but the latter’s contributions to the world are typically above and beyond the average person’s repertoire. Their talent cannot be learned in a book or a class; it’s innate and their importance to the big picture is inevitably linked to their ability to harness this natural aptitude. Stephen Hawking’s ability lay in physics. The Theory of Everything illustrates that while his illness was an obstacle, nothing could alter his life’s purpose.
Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) just selected the subject of his PhD dissertation: time. On top of that, he’s met a lovely girl named Jane (Felicity Jones). He feels on top of the world — until the ground comes up and literally smacks him in the face. An accident reveals he has Lou Gehrig’s disease, which will physically incapacitate him and give him an extremely limited life expectancy. With whatever time Stephen has left, he vows to live his life to its fullest and complete his theory. Of course he would then have decades to abandon his original theory, present a new one and watch his children have children of their own.
It’s surprising that it took this long for someone to create a biopic about Hawking’s extraordinary life, but one could suppose it’s because he continued to do so much an earlier movie would always appear incomplete. Now in his 70s, at least the expectation is that the film depicts most of his life’s major events. For those who are only aware of Hawking as a well-known physicist who postulates about theories of time and parallel universes, this picture is a captivating look into the man behind the ideas.
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star in  The Theory of Everything
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star in 'The Theory of Everything'
Focus Features
Redmayne flawlessly portrays Hawking, from his gradual deterioration due to the disease to his untiring sense of humour about most things in life. His enthusiasm for science never wavers and as each new obstacle in his health presents itself, they find a way to overcome it from crutches to a standard wheelchair to a motorized one to his speech assistant. It does not shy away from his atheism, particularly during conversations with his wife and his church-affiliated assistant. And while Jane eventually remarried, it’s obvious the dedication and contribution she devoted to Hawking’s career and their family helped him realize most of his successes.
Both actors are impeccable. As mentioned, Redmayne masters every aspect of Hawking’s mannerisms and personality as if they were his own. While watching the film, there is no distinction between the two men. Similarly, Jones portrays Jane as a very strong woman ready to face anything that comes their way, including the difficult decisions and sacrifices. Although Hawking is the focus of the film, their relationship is at the centre, which director James Marsh captures perfectly. And finally, Charlie Cox has a complex role to play as Jane’s future husband, but he does it with class and honesty.
Director: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones and Charlie Cox
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