Movie Review: The Theory Of Everything

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

I am a huge nerd and unashamed of it. I grew up reading Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke and, yes, Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. It’s my older brother’s fault for getting me to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation (which Hawking has cameoed in).

That’s why back in August I had to write a A Geek’s Reaction to The Theory Of Everything trailer, a movie about the life and times of Doctor Hawking, and it’s why I had to watch the movie here at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Already the film is gathering buzz that it’s stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones will be seeing Academy Award nods for the film in the near future — and with good reason. Redmayne disappears into his role and emerges as Stephen Hawking, right down to the way he sits in the wheelchair. Jones meanwhile pulls off an inspired performance as his wife, Jane Hawking, that is both incredibly strong and very vulnerable.

It’s interesting that as The Theory Of Everything goes on, Hawking’s genius is more and more recognized, while everything else around him, including his own body, starts to erode. And yet, the film is filled with humor and hope that every challenge can be overcome. One of my favorite scenes is just after he gets his voice box he starts programming all kinds of famous Hollywood quotes. Here is a man who has lost his ability to speak and the very first thing he wants to do when he gets a synthasized voice is program “Exterminate! Exterminate!” and drive around his home like a deranged Dalek from Doctor Who.

The real star of The Theory Of Everything is Benoît Delhomme’s cinematography which explodes on the screen. The depth of field is used to great effect in many of the scenes, making you feel like the characters are wrapped in a blanket of stars. The personal story of this man and woman, and the moments of discovery of the nature of the universe dance around each other in a visual waltz.

The film is based on Jane Hawking’s autobiography Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen; the movie follows their relationship from their first meeting to their marriage and family life. The thing that I wasn’t expecting was how closely the film followed the actual events of Hawking’s life, in which he himself has confirmed that the film was “broadly true.” There were some Hollywoodized aspects, of course, but not to the same degree as something like A Beautiful Mind. The events that were supposed to happen, happened, even if they’ve been dramatized.

The Theory Of Everything is a fantastic biopic and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

About Danny Santos

Freelance writer, filmmaker, actor, musician, and visual artist. Writing online professionally for 4-plus years and has produced and performed in over a dozen films and webseries. He has also been everything from a social media consultant to managing a JUNO award winning musician.

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