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Theory of Everything(Focus, 2014)

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    Atypical
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    #157455

    Just finished watching this. Not sure why the film was made in the first place, other than giving us the theme that “marriage is hard, guys, even for genuises!” Perfectly fine Oscar bait and BP contender, and it diidn’t leave the gross aftertaste I had after watching “A Beautiful Mind,” so I’m grateful for that. Eddie Redymane is exceptional here in a performance I’m still processing. He hit every note I expected him to hit as the great Dr. Stephen Hawking and then some. I’ll admit to tearing up at many of the flim’s sentimental peaks. I’d pick him to win Best Actor outright if not for his young age being such a detriment. Felicity Jones was saddled with the Jennifer Connelly role that she frankly did better back then those many years ago in a “supporting” role. I know that this film is based on the first wife’s memoirs, so the emotional focus as opposed to the scientific slant here was expected (and lay audiences wouldn’t have accepted the latter), but I thought Jones would have made a greater impact as Jane than this being more her story than his. It’s a sad state of affairs in Best Actress this year if this kind of performance is almost assured top five placement. Besides BP, there’s techs for the gorgeous cinematography and maybe a few others. Directing I don’t see happening as it’s very paint by numbers, and the film fizzles by the ending. I do see voters adoring this enough for a solid number of nods and a decent shot for Redymane. That’s about it.

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    Anthony 🐜
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    #157456

    Actually quite liked this one. Very British. It’s one of those small scale Indie biopics that let the performances shine. With nothing much else. The script was a bit disappointing, in the sense that Hawking’s wife (undoubtedly a huge part of his life) was under-written. Felicity Jones comes and goes, and never really anchors. She gives a great performance with the character she was given, and she compliments Redmayne well, but considering the book was about the wife’s account, it really doesn’t show. Redmayne was exemplary. Knock performance from him. He is my personal Best Actor winner.

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    espnfan
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    #157458

    My Review

     

    Stephen Hawking is
    somebody we often view as a deep thinker, but not necessarily a deep feeler.
    Most people seem to assume that he’s just a giant brain and a voice box. Anyone
    who’s seen Hawking in interviews, though, will tell you that he has a wonderful
    personality and sense of humor. In “The Theory of Everything,” we learn that
    Hawking’s life isn’t merely defined by his contributions to the scientific
    community. Rather, his life is truly a love story about family, finding passion
    in your work, and celebrating human existence.   

    “The Theory of
    Everything” stets itself in the 1960s as Hawking studies physics at the
    University of Cambridge in England. Yeah, you probably missed the fact that
    Hawking is British based on his American computer generated voice. The gifted
    student almost immediately falls in love with Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones),
    who’s got a beautiful heart to match Hawking’s beautiful mind. Tragedy strikes
    when Hawking is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and given two
    years to live. Of course he lives much longer than expected, but virtually
    loses the use of his body. Regardless, this doesn’t stop Hawking’s quest for
    knowledge, ultimately amounting to his book, “A Brief History of Time.”

    Eddie Redmayne of
    “My Week with Marilyn” and “Les Misérables” takes another huge step forward in
    his young career as Hawking. On both a physical and emotional level, Redmayne couldn’t
    be more convincing in his transformation, which spans several decades of
    Hawking’s life. “The Theory of Everything” is just as much about Jane Hawking
    as is it about Stephen, however. It should be since Jane wrote the original
    memoir that inspired James Marsh’s film. Felicity Jones is magical as the woman
    who stands by Hawking through hell and back. While Jane never falls out of love
    with her husband, it does justifiably become harder for her to be married to
    him as the years go by.

    The movie is given
    the opportunity to completely misfire when Jane meets a churchgoer named
    Jonathan
    Hellyer Jones (Charlie Cox). As Jonathan volunteers to help out around the
    Hawking household, Jane can’t help but develop an attraction to him. This plot
    point never turns into a sappy love triangle out of a soap opera, though.
    Rather, Stephen, Jane, and Jonathan spend much of the film discussing their
    feelings and treat each other with rational understanding. These are all
    essentially good people that want what’s best for everybody. Part of that has
    to do with Jane and Jonathan’s devout faith in God’s teachings, which somewhat
    rubs off on Stephen.

    While Stephen Hawking has publically
    declared himself as an atheist, he does recognize the value in other people
    placing their faith in God. After all, science and religion aren’t as different
    as we make them out to be. Both are largely based on ideas and philosophies
    that have yet to be proven. “The Theory of Everything” demonstrates that life
    isn’t necessarily about finding concrete answers. It’s about sharing and listening
    to each other’s beliefs about how this mysterious, limitless universe works.
    The more people realize this, the more our society will evolve.

    A-

    ^Compliments on a great write up.  You pretty much summed up everything I felt about the film.

    I finally got around to seeing the film and really enjoyed it.  The film does a great job of what it set out to do, which is humanize Stephen Hawking.  For someone who is often talked about in such an esteemed and almost mythical way, it’s easy to forget that he is a real person as well.  And the film does a great job of portraying him as that.  Yes, the film is rather formulaic, but I can live with that as it was still highly enjoyable.   

         

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