Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Theory of Everything ***

The Theory of Everything tells the moving personal story of physicist Stephen Hawking, who's theories changed our understanding of the universe, and his wife Jane who supported him through his physical affliction.  In time, Hawking became an unlikely pop culture icon with the publication of A Brief History of Time, a primer on modern cosmology.  While the structure of The Theory of Everything relies on the conventions of biographical films, the performances of Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are well worth seeing.

Unfortunately, the science takes a back seat in the film.  Black holes are mentioned a few times. So, get a character study. We meet Professor Hawking during his college days as an eccentric student of Physics at Oxford.  He meets history student Jane and a relationship develops.  Then Stephen notices he's losing control of his motor skills and is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.  Given only two years to live, he advises Jane to find someone else, but she agrees to marry him.  At many points, their marriage was put to the test as Stephen's physical condition worsened. Despite his disability which took away his ability walk, speak, and eventually breath on his own - his work continued on.

The film's two themes of sacrifice and determination in the face of illness make for high drama.  As Jane and Stephen begin to drift apart we remember that even those with the best of intentions are mere human.  Both performances exude a compassion that goes beyond what Hollywood typically offers - and makes The Theory of Everything shine much brighter in retrospect.

No comments:

Post a Comment