The Theory of Everything

 

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Stephen Hawking falls in love.

 
Theory of Everything, The 

By the numbers: Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne

 
The story of Stephen Hawking is one of the most remarkable and stirring of the twentieth century. That is why it was turned into a TV movie – the BBC’s riveting Hawking, with Benedict Cumberbatch – and the documentary of the same name, which was released last year (2013). This edition – told from the viewpoint of Hawking’s first wife, Jane Wilde – provides Eddie Redmayne with a chance to exhibit his acting chops (he is nothing short of brilliant) and also gives Felicity Jones a chance to emote very prettily indeed.

 

Starting with Hawking’s early days at Cambridge – in 1963 – James Marsh’s film is a picturesque, by-the-numbers retelling of the facts. However, cinematically it does pale in comparison with the not altogether dissimilar The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – and feels a little too Laura Ashley for its own good. It’s a shock to see Emily Watson – as Jane’s mother – in such a cough-and-a-spit, while Jóhann Jóhannsson's piano-driven score really does wear out the ivories. For those unfamiliar with Hawking’s tale – his fight against his debilitating motor neuron disease – or his re-writing of space-time singularity – may be suitably engaged.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis, Maxine Peake, Harry Lloyd, Abigail Cruttenden, Charlotte Hope, Christian McKay, Enzo Cilenti.

 

Dir James Marsh, Pro Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Screenplay Anthony McCarten, Ph Benoît Delhomme, Pro Des John Paul Kelly, Ed Jinx Godfrey, Music Jóhann Jóhannsson, Costumes Steven Noble.

 

Working Title Films/Focus Features-Universal Pictures.

123 mins. UK/Japan. 2014. Rel: 1 January 2015. Cert. 12A.