Director James Marsh (Man on Wire) captures the miracle story of well-known British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, in The Theory of Everything. There to help support the film are his two competent leads, Redmayne and Felicity Jones. After being diagnosed in the ‘60s with motor neurological disease (often related to ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), Hawking (Redmayne) is cheated from his movement and speech. But that doesn’t stop his brain from working as it races through time and space, trying to solve the unsolved mysteries of the universe.
Redmayne gives the performance of a lifetime as we see his profound physical transformation take place throughout the film. Hawking is jailed to a motorized wheelchair and wants to move with every fibre of his being. Redmayne embodies every part of this horrific disease as his battles hurtle over hurtle over hurtle. Being nominated an Oscar, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Redmayne has a good chance at being the surprise winner this February. Watch out Keaton (favored for Birdman), Redmayne may upset and snag your award. There right by Hawking’s side is his loyal companion and wife, Jane Wilde Hawking (Jones). Has she did in Like Crazy, Jones deepens her physical character and grabs hold of your heart. Redmayne and Jones’ chemistry blooms on screen as they mature through hardships, emotions, love and life.
This emotionally charged film is backed by Marsh’s touching direction. He scraps the violin and sap and focuses on the miracle behind this life changing disease. Scriptwriter Anthony McCarten adapts Wilde’s own memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, perfectly to the screen; while, cinematographer Benoît Delhomme (Lawless) polishes every corner of this film with his skilled expertise. Redmayne and Jones’ are revolutionary as we see 25 years of marriage rapidly grow, wither and dissolve in a the blink of an eye. Marsh just doesn’t focus on Stephen’s struggles but Jane’s as well. This disease put a toll on her health as she continuously cared for her husband’s deteriorating condition.
Jane’s view of God plays a toll on their marriage, as Stephen doesn’t share the same belief. And in the end, Stephen’s affections for Jane slowly fade away as he beings to develop feelings for his nurse, Elaine (Maxine Peake). But through Jane and Stephen's marriage we still saw love blossom and produce three beautiful lives. “Look what we made,” Stephen says to Jane. Even though their marriage is no more, their friendship will last a lifetime. The Theory of Everything captures your heart and shows us hope within the human condition. “While there’s life, there is hope.”