5 Academy Award Nominations
Directed by James Marsh
Welcome Scribbler movie fans! It’s time to take a look at another Oscar nominee for Best Picture this time with a biopic of perhaps the most famous brainiac and probably the only physicist 99.9999% of people can name though having no idea what his contributions to science have been. So let’s take a closer look at Stephen Hawking…
The Theory of Everything (2014)
5 Academy Award Nominations
Directed by James Marsh
Most people know who Stephen Hawking is though most probably know little about him other than he’s “that scientist with the voice thingy” or some such. As I said in my review of The Imitation Game last week I have always been a bit of a math nerd so I won’t reiterate all of that here again only to say that my math geekness has followed me into adulthood. I’ve watched and continue to watch documentary after documentary about physics, mathematics, cosmology and pretty much anything about science exploring the big questions. It’s not only that I find it fascinating and profoundly interesting but it makes me think and once I start I don’t always know where that will lead which is why I started writing in the first place. While I obviously don’t write about science and math really it is those areas that expand my thinking and get things fired up, it’s not my fault that my thoughts turn to the sick & twisted that’s just a plus! So what is The Theory of Everything all about?
The Theory of Everything begins with a young Hawking at Cambridge prior to his diagnosis with ALCS more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The film is based on the book by Jane Hawking, Stephen’s first wife and mother of their 2 children. It’s really a dual story both looking at Hawking the man and the relationship between Stephen & Jane from the time they met to their divorce. This is not some tragic tale of love and lose though obviously there is tragedy involved but Stephen and Jane remain close friends to this day even though both have moved on in their personal lives. Also as far as romances go I didn’t find The Theory of Everything to do it in the typical way but then Stephen and Jane weren’t the typical couple. While I haven’t read Jane’s book I can’t tell you how accurate or “true” it stayed to the source material but from the many documentaries and such that I have watched about Hawking I can say that it appeared to be pretty accurate without any major liberties taken for dramatic effect. So with all of that out of the way, how was the movie itself?
I went into this film with no real expectations as I’ve seen so much about Hawking that there really wasn’t anything for me to really learn from this film which is perhaps why I waited so long to watch it. I’ve literally watched hours upon hours of documentaries about Hawking both as a person and his work in science though the two are so intertwined it is impossible to tell one story without the other and the film makes no attempt to separate the two. If you know some of Hawkings’ story there isn’t anything real shocking here but it is a very well told and put together story. Now having seen it I can see why both Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones received nominations for their portrayals as both were fantastic. Redmayne absolutely embodies Hawking as I was amazed that it seemed a young Hawking himself was on screen playing himself. You would honestly never know it was an actor if it wasn’t a movie. Redmayne nails Hawkings’ looks and mannerisms with ease. A truly special performance indeed. While Felicity Jones was great as Jane (Wilde) Hawking I can’t speak as well to the accuracy of that portrayal as I haven’t seen Jane quite as much as Hawking.
The Theory of Everything is, in the end, a very good film and worth the time watching. It’s more the story of Stephen and Jane but also weaves in some of the highlights of Hawkings’ career as well. The man is truly amazing for his contributions to science alone but his personal story nearly eclipses it. Hawking was given 2 years to live when first diagnosed with ALCS at the age of 21 and has now beaten the disease for over 50 years. I believe he is the longest to ever survive with the disease after being diagnosed and is still going strong today. It’s a touching story without being sappy which is my problem with 99.9999% of romances which makes me hate them with a passion. Some might say the film is almost too practical of an approach but to me it’s touching and gave a closer look at a man I admire. I never got bored making the two hour run time fly by so it did pass The Scribblers’ Clock Test. It was a good movie though I wouldn’t say Oscar winning good but I could easily make an argument for Redmayne as best actor though again the award should go to the nomination-less Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler but I’ll stop banging that drum. If you find Hawking as interesting as I do then you’ll love it just for Redmayne’s performance alone but on the whole it was an excellent movie. As you can tell, while it probably won’t win the Oscar for best picture, The Theory of Everything is most definitely…
What do you think Scribbler fans? Have you seen this nominee yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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