I never expected this to be such a sweet little film – yet that’s exactly what The Theory of Everything (2014) was!
Truly, I was expecting more of a facts-and-figures biopic; however, this film (a biography of physicist extraordinaire Stephen Hawking) is anything but.
Instead we see Hawking (played brilliantly by Eddie Redmayne) grow from a somewhat awkward college student into a somewhat awkward genius – never seeming to lose his silly, crooked smile.
That smile gets even bigger (and perhaps sillier?) when fellow college student, Jayne, (played perhaps even more brilliantly by Felicity Jones) enters his life. She’s drawn to Stephen, despite his awkwardness, and their relationship develops into a genuine, mutually supportive love.
(I realize as I write this that it all sounds kinda sappy…)
However, despite my less-than-ideal description, I can’t stress enough the genuine, gentle charm of this film. Both performances are Oscar-worthy – as is this film (I’m glad to see they’re all nominated!).
Happily, Stephen’s gradual physical decline isn’t portrayed so much as a tragedy as it is simply another challenge to figure out and overcome; there’s never any self-pity or melodramatics here. And that, for me, made the challenges this couple overcame all the more heroic and admirable.
A fantastic movie that tackles with finesse, wit, charm, and intelligence the one concept in the universe even bigger than the big-bang theory … love.