Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Theory of Everything review; A One of a Kind Love Story

Stephen Hawking is undoubtedly the most famous scientist in the world.  The work he's done in his field has changed the way people view time and space.  While his findings may be too complex for this blogger to truly understand, I can still very much appreciate what he's contributed to the world of science.  That being said, before watching The Theory of Everything, I knew nothing about this man.  There's a reason biopics are such Oscar favorites; because they tell incredible true stories.  This is no different.  Let's go!

What I liked about the film:
The Acting
Eddie Redmayne received a lot of attention for his work in 2012's Les Misérables.  But nothing could have prepared us for his performance here.  Redmayne transforms into Hawking; not only does he captured Hawking's speech, but his mannerisms as well.  Redmayne plays the character with such a boyish charm, wonderful sense of humor, and quick wit... you can't help but fall in love with him.  And as Hawking's debilitating condition worsens throughout the film, our heart breaks for him.  From every slip and fall, to every near death experience, we take the journey alongside Redmayne.  He's sweeping up every award under the sun, leading up to the big show; and I have no doubt he'll take home the Best Actor Academy Award.

Felicity Jones plays Jane Hawking, Stephen's wife.  From everything that I've read, Jane Hawking was not just some trophy wife that Mr. Hawking could flaunt at Cambridge.  By all accounts, she was smart, sophisticated and confident.  The way Jones carries herself on screen is really hypnotic.  You cheer for her successes, down to every smart ass playful remark she has for her husband.  And our heart aches for what she endures to try and make the marriage work.  Jones is so good in this film; I truly believe this is her story being told.  Phenomenal work!

The Writing (The Love Story)
Not only are Redmayne and Jones terrific in the film, their chemistry is obvious.  They play off one another so well, the two actors could very well have been married for all we know.  That helps, but the writing in the film is what really brings the story to live.  Anthony McCarten wrote a beautiful script, that could easily have gone in a whole different direction.  The script could have been all about Professor Hawking and his scientific achievements, but it wasn't.  It's about this beautiful couple, that fought the odds for so long, with such a passionate love, that we WANT them to make it.  We want them to live happily ever after.

The Score
The music in the film told the story.  Jóhann Jóhannsson wrote a beautiful score that toyed with every one of my emotions.  You know what it felt like?  Like a symphony was playing behind a movie with no film score.  It was simply... perfect.

The Director
James Marsh is an Academy Award winner for his documentary, Man on Wire (which is being made into a feature film).  So the man knows how to tell a story; we should not be surprised at the result of this film.  Marsh makes so many great decisions that I must give him credit for.  The set design, the costumes, the cinematography; all of these were vital to telling this story.  Nicely done by Marsh; I hope we see more of his work in the future.

The Verdict:
A One of a Kind Love Story
Who would have thought, that the world's most famous scientist had such an amazing love story to tell?  Stephen Hawking has gone out of his way to praise the film, and specifically, Redmayne's performance.  It's a great script, telling a beautiful story, with perfect performances.  You see how I keep using the word beautiful?  It's because that's exactly what this movie was to me.  Beautiful.  Enjoy everyone!

Ps.. Check out this terrific documentary based on Professor Hawking's life.  Click here.

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