Monday, November 24, 2014


Terrific acting highlights gripping Hawking bio "Theory of Everything'

Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and admired figures in the world.

A brilliant mathematician, cosmologist, and researcher into the relativity of space and time, he's a university professor, a popular guest on the lecture circuit, and the author of many non-fiction books that make complex science comprehensible to lay readers. (His A Brief History of Time was on the bestseller charts for five years.)

He's such a pop culture icon, he's even appeared as himself in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The Simpsons.
Young Prof. Hawking

And almost all of the above was accomplished with Hawking confined to a wheelchair during the inexorable progression of a motor neuron disease related to ALS. The image of Hawking slouched in his motorized wheelchair, communicating through his robotic voice synthesizer, is so well-known, it's difficult to imagine him any other way.

But that changes with The Theory of Everything. A smart, funny, and tender biographical drama that begins with Hawking as a vigorous young grad student at Cambridge, it also tells the enduring love story of Hawking and his first wife, Jane.
Attn Oscar voters: Redmayne as Hawking
Scripted by Anthony McCarten (from a memoir written by Jane Hawking), the film is directed by James Marsh, who made the absorbing documentary Man On Wire. Marsh proves to be just as adept with narrative drama, abetted here by his two stars, the exceptional Eddie Redmayne as Stephen (yes, the Oscar race starts here), and the formidable Felicity Jones as Jane.

Redmayne is terrific at every stage of Stephen's life. Gradually robbed of an actors usual tools—movement, voice, facial expression —he still manages to convey Stephen's lively intelligence, his active participation in the life around him, his dry sense of humor.

Remarkably clear-headed, yet moving, Marsh's film defies expectations of what an "uplifting" biopic can be—just as Hawking (now 72, in real life) defied all expectations. The Theory of Everything simply celebrates tenacity—in life, love, and ideas. (Read more)

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