During the 1960s, the famed physicist, cosmologist, and author, Stephen Hawking, finds love during his studies at the University of Cambridge, with Jane Wilde. They laugh, they dance, and they discuss science and theories, and all the while fall head over heels for each other. As their relationship grows, Hawking starts to realize that something isn’t quite right with him physically, but he keeps ignoring any signs of worry, until one day he falls flat on his face in the middle of the open campus. After being rushed to the hospital, and undergoing tests, doctors give him the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He is then given only 2 years to live, and thus forces Jane to leave him, as his diagnosis will be too difficult for her to bear. Although, scared and heartbroken, Jane is too in love to leave. She pleads to stay and vows to stand by him, and care for him. His short time that he was given by doctors also influences him to study time and black holes relating to space. Director James Marsh allows his audience to take a look into this beautiful and fascinating story of a young couple who have nothing but love and commitment to attempt to fight this debilitating disease and possibly defy the odds.
Although The Theory of Everything is quite slow, and at times a bit confusing with all the scientific details explored, but it is very moving. It’s interesting to witness a couple as young as they were, battle such hardships in days where ALS was extremely rare. The relationship they have is unique in a sense where they struggle to physically communicate, and Jane juggles handling their children, and also caring for Stephen in the same sense. It was at times heart wrenching to watch a woman at her age, literally feeling the weight of her husband on her shoulders, day in day out. What was even more interesting is that Stephen doesn’t believe in God, yet the amount of faith he exudes through his work, his health, and his relationships is a bit mind-boggling. Jane is a devoted Christian and it makes her happy to know that at least he has faith, period.
The acting in this film is superb. Eddie Redmayne not only deserves an Oscar nomination, but he deserves to win. He completely transforms into the brilliant Stephen Hawking, physically and emotionally. His mannerisms, his speech, even his facial expressions are brilliant. The way that he looks at his wife and children are filled with tons of different emotions, and they are all expressed with just his eyes. Felicity Jones, who portrays his wife Jane, is pure talent. She encompasses a woman that takes on too much, caring for her children, delivering round the clock care for her husband and all the while proving that her love doesn’t falter.
In conclusion, The Theory of Everything is highly recommended to anyone that enjoys stellar performances, a story based on a real man who has overcome so many adversaries and lives to tell the tale that in the end love can conquer all.
Check out The Theory of Everything in theaters today!