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‘The Theory of Everything’ Review: Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones & Charlie Cox

Beautiful, moving, shocking, heartbreaking and loving, The Theory of Everything is led by two of the best performances of the year and tells the tale of a man with brilliant life-changing ideas and the woman who loved him.

Based on the novel “Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen,” by Jane Hawking, The Theory of Everything tells the love story of famed physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) from when they first met at school in Cambridge to the point where Stephen wrote his best-selling book “A Brief History of Time.”

In 1963 when Stephen was 21-years-old, he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, similar to ALS, and was given less than two years to live. However Jane was committed to never giving up on Stephen and pushed him through the hardships of the disease. The young couple end up getting married and over the course of the next few years have three children together.

When the motor neuron disease takes control of Stephen’s entire body to where he can no longer move his muscles, Jane begs for help with their home life and her choir instructor Jonathan (Charlie Cox) dedicates his free time to coming over and helping the Hawking family and taking care of Stephen. Over the next few years, Stephen’s health declines to the point where he can no longer speak and uses a computer to voice his thoughts and take down notes.

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Eddie Redmayne, who is also incredible in 2011’s My Week With Marilyn and 2012’s Les Misérables, gives the best performance I’ve seen from any actor this year. He completely disappears into the role of the physicist and is unrecognizable. The role is physically demanding since Redmayne had to mimic the movements and vocal rhythms of Mr. Hawking. During some days of filming, Redmayne would be up and walking and in that same day would have to go back to being in a wheelchair with his muscles failing.

It’s also important to say that Redmayne and Felicity Jones have remarkable and sparkling chemistry. Jones, who I adore in 2011’s Like Crazy, is perfection here as Jane Hawking, Stephen’s loving and adoring wife who dedicated her life to him and their family. The movie does an excellent job of balancing out Stephen’s battle with ALS and his relationship with his wife, who is not as well known. Although it’s a different type of movie entirely, 2012’s Hitchcock did a beautiful job of highlighting Alfred Hitchcock’s filmmaking career while also bringing light to his talented wife Alma Reville. The Theory of Everything does the same thing and brings knowledge to audiences just how much Jane was involved in Stephen’s work and his battle with ALS.

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Screenwriter Anthony McCarten (2011’s Death of a Superhero) does wonders in adapting Jane Hawking’s novel to a full-fledged screenplay. He consulted with Jane when he needed to, but it’s clear the writer really loved the story of the young couple when he was writing the screenplay. Though the film could have been a bit more fluid in parts, director James Marsh (2012’s Shadow Dancer) develops the story in his unique way for the screen.

Part biopic, but mainly a beautiful and heartbreaking romance, The Theory of Everything is one of the most memorable films of the year and when people look to Eddie Redmayne’s filmography, this role will definitely be noted as one of the best of his career. Redmayne and Jones both deserve Oscar nominations and the film a nom for Best Picture. Whether or not you know much about Stephen Hawking, this is a film for those who are well versed in the physicist’s work and for those who just enjoy a good love story.

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