Director: James Marsh
Writer: Anthony McCarten
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
Studio: Focus Features
“The Theory of Everything” is proof that sincerity and innocence doesn’t equate to reality. While there is a loving romance about two people overcoming terrible illness, not a note of what’s happening rings true. Let’s take a moment and leave the baggage of what comes later aside and focus on our two leads. They will make you believe in the connection that Jane and Dr. Hawking shared. However, you’ll feel the same mental tugs that you got during “A Beautiful Mind”. Honestly, you’ll feel a ton of comparisons to “A Beautiful Mind” during this film.
Stephen Hawking is a genius by every definition of the word. It’s rare that someone of his mental magnitude is privy to this degree of fame and attention. But, watching a man bravely fight against the crippling of his entire body and forcing others to confront his body’s failure tends to attract attention. Reality is a cruel bitch and Dr. Hawking is no strange to its icy embrace. However, I see the need to want to create a glossier version of the facts without getting incredibly personal. The stranger rich audiences of the world don’t need to know every aspect of the man’s life, but they need to have a better sense of what made him tick. I didn’t get that here, so that’s why I’m chalking it up to being a well-acted failure.
The trouble with biopics is that they always split into two directions. They either want saints or bastards regardless of the facts. Narrative fiction makes demands on the truths we hold dear and more often people want to hear legends rather than correct news. This film is another tale in the legend of Dr. Stephen Hawking that will last long after we all have expired. If you can enjoy that and thrill to two people falling love, then you’ve got yourself a Holiday movie. Everyone else will probably just ignore it.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW! (Limited) 11/26/14 (WIDE RELEASE)