Review: The Theory Of Everything (2014)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/924/13942284/files/2015/01/img_0109.jpg The love life of famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is the focus of The Theory Of Everything, a warm and beautifully acted, yet unfortunately dilute biopic. In the 1960s, Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) meets and falls in love with arts student Jane (Felicity Jones). Over the marriage that follows, both Stephen and Jane must deal with Stephen’s increasing disability while trying to hold onto a semblance of normality. Even if the film itself, which is only ever serviceable, struggles to define itself, the same can’t be said for the performances. Redmayne is simply tremendous as Stephen Hawking, his realisation of both the man’s personality and struggle as realistic as can be. Jones matches him in terms of her screen presence, even if the material isn’t there to back her efforts up. Anthony McCarten’s screenplay paints a much too rosy picture of a marriage that was evidently cloaked in pain and hardship, unravelling in such a predictable manner that leaves the film lacking in both insight and depth. Still, The Theory Of Everything is ever-watchable thanks its eye-catching demeanour and skilled cast. But you can’t help but expect more.

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  1. I saw the advertisement for the film on the side of a bus today, and it got me thinking how much advertising seems to have been poured into this film. And the superlatives – hardly enough room left for a serviceable ‘It’s good.’

    And I was wondering how it would do at the Box Office, bearing in mind that the story is really quite specialised. Who will want to watch even talented actors play out the story of a man who is a leader in fundamental physics? It isn’t high drama.

    I was wondering what the ‘angle’ would be? If it is just his physical descent, then that’s too well known – and painful to watch. If it is the story of the breakup of their relationship – then can it stand up to the fact that his achievement in science overshadows that?

    All in all, I am just not tempted by it – and I wonder how many people will be?

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    • It’s bland. It’s not quite anything really. Yet another film where the performance – or performances, not to forget Felicity Jones – greatly outweigh the film itself. It’s nice enough, but too nothing to be anything.

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