Film Review: The Theory of Everything (James Marsh, 2014) ★★★★

18 comments
(Source)
A very overdue review of the Oscar nominated film that saw Eddie Redmayne take home the Oscar for Best Actor, 2015. Based on the life and marriage of Stephen and Jane Hawking, The Theory of Everything follows a young, gifted but unfocussed physics student (Eddie Redmayne) who meets Jane (Felicity Jones). Their romance is tested, however, when Stephen is diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease at a breakthrough time in his work. With Stephen's health ever decreasing, the couple decide to battle the disease together for whatever time they have left.

(Source)
Set in picturesque Cambridge, this Oscar winning title is the second Academy recognised film to examine the human condition through the medium of astrophysics. However, if Interstellar (Nolan, 2014) was a little on the cold, sci-fi eccentric side for you then The Theory of Everything offers a more heart-felt option. Unlike that of Interstellar, the narrative is rapid, thrusting you in to Stephen and Jane's situation as Stephen Hawking was when suddenly diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

Tragically, we are given clues to Stephen's demise; a quivering hand, an awkward walk suggesting his feet might give out at any moment. While their romance initially has signs of a fairy tale - dancing by under tea lights on the cobbled bridge - there is the assumption that we as an audience know what is looming over the star crossed lovers. Stephen tries to push Jane away, insisting he does not want to see her, and his father warns Jane to stay away but a steely-eyed Jane asserts her devotion to the man who will become completely dependent on her for his every need. 

(Source)
Going in to the film, I was very reluctant. Having seen extended trailers, I expected a rose-tinted romantic tale of a couple whose love defied the odds - not my kind of film at all. What we get instead is actually the story of a young women's life sentence. Giving up her PHD, her social life and all her own needs, she gives her all to the care of one man, simply because she loves him. As a genuis, Stephen remains successful and world famous for his work in physics, adding yet more strain to the relationship and the ever-growing stress of his deteriorating health. Every now and then we see a glimpse of the romantic love they felt for each other, their joy for having their two children but under the surface Jane is struggling to cope. Attracting attention from a gentlemen at church (Charlie Cox), Jane resists the temptation to have a new life, a new love, for which no one would blame her. The direction is clear, though, not to blame Jane for the feelings of love lost, her struggle and hardship -fully empathising with her situation. All in all, there is a perfect balance showing both a struggle for Jane and for Stephen who despite medical reasoning, is still alive and remains one of the world's leading physicists for his extraordinary work and best selling books. This is anchored heavily by the performances from both Redmayne and Jones who make the narrative believable. 

(Source)
With such a tricky subject to tackle, a heavily disabled character for the leading role, this had to be handled delicately. Redmaybe provides a believable yet moving performance which adds to the overall success of the film. Without this, the audience would lose site of the goal of the film and be distracted from the main message of hope. As stated by Hawking himself, "...while there is life, there is hope". 

Though the couples' marriage eventually ended in divorce, Stephen feeling a need to "set Jane free", the couple remain good friends although some large details were still left out from the motion picture.  The film does not include Hawking's second marriage, the rumoured abuse he endures by his second wife nor the strong relationship that remains between him and Jane. Perhaps director, James Marsh felt it was unnecessary to include these and perhaps ending the way it did prevented the narrative from taking a dark turn but I felt it was note-worthy all the same. 

(Source)
The Theory of Everything is a sometimes touching, perhaps tear-jerking glimpse in to the life of two extraordinary people. Combined with a few hazy, pretty shots, an Oscar recognised cast and a powerful message, The Theory of Everything gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Whilst the potential was there, I felt it wasn't as powerful and awe inspiring as some of the other titles I'd seen leading up to the Academy Awards. While Redmayne deserves his Oscar whole heartedly, I felt he was the typical choice for the gold. A fully enjoyable film none-the-less and worthy of it's Academy nominations. 

(Source)
What did you think of The Theory of Everything? I put it off for so long but glad I saw it in the end. Whilst it is not my top pick of the year, I found it inspiring and another example of why I love film so much. Certainly one of the greatest British films is recent years. I truly thought it would have been kind of cool to see Steve Carell or Michael Keaton take home an Oscar but knew this would be the choice...and probably for better reasoning. 

Thanks for reading my review, I love reading our comments so please leave them below! 

Peace and love, 


SHARE:
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home

18 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved this movie! The end montage is when I couldn't hold back those tears anymore... haha :( so glad he got his Oscar and really enjoyed reading this review :)
    Amy xo

    youresyntheticyourepathetic.blogspot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for reading it hun. I was surprised by it, I felt it was done very well and Eddie did deserve his Oscar in the end! Glad you liked it :) xx

      Delete
  2. I really need to see this. I think I'll have to watch it when it's out on dvd as I cried watching the trailer.
    You've wrote such a good review, I've heard so many good things about this so it's definitely on my to watch list!

    www.sophieslittlesecrets.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Please do see it! I'd love to know what you thought of it. It was rather sad, even for me, I never cry at movies! Thanks so much, thanks for reading it! xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very good review, I have seen it and agree with your take on it. It wasn't the best film but very enjoyable and I really liked it. I very much enjoy your film reviews. Thanks for posting them

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really need to see this because from what I have seen it looks amazing!

    fixmeinfortyfivex.blogspot.co.uk

    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah definitely do! I set myself the goal of seeing all the Oscar films so urge everyone else to do the same haha. I'd love to know what you think of it x

      Delete
  6. I agree that the best thing about this movie was Eddie Redmayne's performance, which was very touching. I like how you focus on Jane's perspective in your review as the movie is supposedly based on her book. Your comparison with Interstellar is also apt. It could have been better, imo, but as it is, it was still an enjoyable film.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, yeah I felt it was more about Jane - though Hawking is obviously the genius and the one with the disease- I feel it's more about her sacrifice. Thanks for reading my review :)

      Delete
  7. I loved this film, he was very worthy of the Oscar! Abi :)
    MyW0rldMyView

    ReplyDelete
  8. I saw this and it was one of the best films I have seen in a very long time. Great review x

    OhjustAlice.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wasn't going to go and see the film at the cinema but eventually I did, and I'd glad of it. The film was really good and like you said one of the best British Films. I thought it was going to be too romantic but it was far from it; it was funny, extremely sad, and inspiring! Eddie Redmayne did a fantastic job, and definitely deserved that Oscar!
    Emily
    http://dreamuphappiness.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here! I put it off for a while but definitely worth seeing in the end. I don't like chic flicks or anything too romantic but I think they found a great balance. Couldn't agree more, thanks so much for commenting! xx

      Delete
  10. I was so keen to see this movie but a few friends warned me it wasn't the best. Thankfully I didn't listen to them and watched it anyway, I absolutely loved it! Eddie was fantastic and I thought the whole thing was very well done :)

    Great review!

    Rai
    http://raierinrose.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you made a good call! Glad you liked it! I think they did a very good job with handling it and whilst it wasn't film of the year, it was still a worthy Oscar title! xx

      Delete
  11. I initially didn't really want to see this movie although i'm not entirely sure why! When I did go to see it i absolutely loved it and I would love to see it again. It managed perfectly to tug on my heartstrings and I cared so deeply about every character. I think it was definitely worth an Oscar :)
    Great post!
    xoxo
    http://youcancallmequeeng.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment. I truly appreciate all of your comments/questions and so I try to respond to all if I can. Remember to pop back to see my reply

PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig