By: Dominic Salacki, Contributing Writer
As “The Theory of Everything” begins, the audience sees Stephen Hawking, and is taken into his personality as a fun-loving, free-spirited young Oxford fellow.
Soon, the movie introduces a young girl at a college party that Stephen attends. This is Jane, and the two of them become deeply fascinated with each other since the first point of notice, eager to learn and pick the brains of the other person.
As the film progresses, we see how Hawking relies on his motor skills and the audience fears what lies ahead. His motor skills begin to fade gradually, as shown through him spilling his drinks by mistake and stumbling his ankle as he walks. In one scene, he trips while taking a stroll around Oxford, and falls and bangs his head hard on the concrete. He is then taken to the hospital to be treated and finds out that he has a motor neuron disease related to ALS and has only two years to live.
After being diagnosed, Stephen is afraid of being with Jane any longer. It seems he loves her so much that he doesn’t want to be a burden to Jane if they intend on staying with each other. However, Jane does love Stephen and eventually they get married and end up having two sons and one daughter, and all the while Stephen’s disease progresses further, immobilizing him completely.
It’s intriguing to me, the tagline of this movie: “His mind changed our world, her love changed his,” which makes the film seem like it was through Jane’s determination of continuing to love and care for Stephen that their lives can go on and they can be happy.
But from the trailer it was seems like the movie is solely about the wonder that is Stephen Hawking and who he became through his creative intelligence. After I have seen this film, what I can take from it is, the greatness that was Stephen Hawking and how he has changed the universe as we know it.
Once I got past the entire meaning of this film, I then had to analyze Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the famed Hawking. I determined that the first half of the film is his best work, but it ends there. Going into this movie I believe that Redmayne would have a chance at an Academy Award nomination for this performance, but after actually watching the movie, I don’t think that’s such a big possibility.
What this movie really needed was a face to fit the character. Even though this may be true and as much as I love Eddie Redmayne, especially from “My Week with Marilyn” and “Les Miserables,” they could’ve gotten other actors to play Hawking. I’m sure that Eddie was the best possible actor, partly with success from Les Miserables and the upcoming Wachowski picture “Jupiter Ascending,” to choose from to play this role. But it’s not really Eddie’s role that needs all the attention here, it is Felicity Jones’ role.
Jones plays Hawking’s wife, Jane. Along with three children, Jane had to endure the challenges that came along with taking care of her husband. Through Felicity’s wide range of emotion that was portrayed on the screen, I have no doubt in my mind she could be up for some big awards this season; good chance for an Oscar nomination as well.