The Theory of Everything Review

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Theory of EverythingThe story of Stephen Hawking is an amazing one, and in the film The Theory of Everything, that story is told through the eyes of his wife, Jane Hawking, played by Felicity Jones in an Academy Award-nominated performance.

The film tells the story of Stephen Hawking from his time as a student before being diagnosed, up to the point where he has lost almost all movement. The film begins before Stephen Hawking (played magnificently by Eddie Redmayne, also Academy Award-nominated) was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, an ailment that deteriorates the nerves, eventually limiting all movement. He is a student studying at Cambridge when he meets Jane Wilde. At the beginning of their relationship, he receives the diagnosis, and they decide to get married and take whatever time they have left together, having been told he would likely only live another two years.
Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything
The prognosis is off by just a little as Stephen Hawking is currently 73 years old and has lived longer than any other person with ALS. The couple has three children, with Jane acting as his caretaker as his condition worsens. It is at this point that the film begins to reach it’s pinnacle, as the viewer sees the caretaking process through Jane’s eyes, and sees that Stephen becomes a person that needs to be cared for as much as a toddler, making a normal emotional relationship virtually impossible. It is the effect this has on their marriage that makes the film worth the emotional investment, as you see the pain each character is going through in trying to deal with the situation in the best way they know how.

Both actors portray the pain this causes, and the resulting strain on the marriage beautifully. Redmayne embodies the physical aspects of Hawking that we’re all familiar with in a performance that has to rely so much on just facial expression, yet is able to retain Hawking’s charisma. Felicity Jones shows the strain Jane faces in trying to care for three children and an immobile husband with results that are heartbreaking. When Hawking becomes ill and Jane is faced with a major decision, the pain of it resonates throughout the rest of the film, as Hawking loses the ability to ever speak again, all while Jane is trying to care for him and have some sort of emotional support, which she finds from her choir instructor, Jonathan, who wants to help the family and is inevitably someone Jane would turn to for the normal social interaction humans need to survive.

The film takes its title from Stephen’s study of time, which the movie plays with in a metaphorical sense as Stephen continues his work as a physicist, becoming famous and seeming to maintain a positive attitude. It ends on a positive note that you wouldn’t expect possible from a story of such hardship, but it nonetheless is beautiful and uplifting, giving hope in a place that seems like it would have none to provide.

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The Theory of Everything (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)

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Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything

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