The Theory of Everything (2014)
The Theory of Everything
★ ★ ★ out of 5
Directed by James Marsh
Starring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking
Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking
Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane’s struggles through Stephen’s diagnosis with ALS, and the love that kept the two of them strong.
The Theory of Everything is kind of exactly what I expected it to be going in, a very average film with above average performances. This is one of those films that takes no risks, which is its ultimate downfall, it is conventional in nearly every sense of the word. James Marsh took the life of Stephen Hawking and made a completely passable biopic, but that’s really the problem, watching The Theory of Everything is like watching a screenwriter transfer this man’s life into a Save the Cat beat sheet, it is formulaic, it feels like we’re watching a movie, and not actually watching someone’s life on screen. It’s designed to please a crowd, to hit all the right emotional notes, to make us smile, to make us possibly even tear up a little, and it succeeds at doing all of this. But it feels so damn uninspired while doing it. Yes, it works, and yes I would say I enjoyed it, but even though I didn’t know the story, it felt like I had seen everything before. With that said, there are two things that make me glad that I went and spent $12 on a ticket, and those two things are Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. These two actors did everything the filmmaking could not do in making me believe. I nearly forgot that these were actors at points, Redmayne and Jones had me immersed, they had me believing. Eddie Redmayne gives a nearly perfect performance as Stephen Hawking, portraying every bit of emotion, every bit of struggle perfectly. I would compare him to Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot, although I might actually say that Redmayne is even better here. Felicity Jones also does a spectacular job, although she has a less flashy role, she does marvels with it. As a movie, The Theory of Everything is nothing special, but it would be a shame to miss out on these performances.