I’m not fan of biopics. While I don’t particularly hate them, I don’t adore them either. Sometimes there are really interesting people in history, and you want to know their story; but I often find a book (or a few books) is the best way to get to know the story- and the person- more intimately.
I must also add that a biopic usually turns me off when I know the subject of the film is still alive, which is the case with The Theory of Everything.
But here’s the thing: It’s not his story. In fact, the book on which the film is based was written by Jane Hawking. I’d love to admire this film as a beautiful depiction of one brilliant man, but it’s not. It’s a tragic story of two people who fall in and out of love over the course of about 30 years.
An element of the film I was really impressed with was how they managed to discuss religion or a lack of religious beliefs in a rather decent manner. They brought multiple ideals to the table, and solidly portray the fact that people with different beliefs can co-exist. Often when religion, politics or war appears anywhere in film, it’s tough to navigate this minefield. Consider American Sniper for example, a film that tells a very one-sided story.
I digress, back to The Theory of Everything. Another element that really carried the film for me was the acting. I had been watching a bunch of other Best Picture nominated films. Many of the actors and actresses from these films have received best lead or supporting nominations, and for these categories I had (quite idiotically) made my predictions already. But after watching this film, I must say that Miachel Keaton and Rosamund Pike (My predictions) have some tough competition.
Felicity Jones stuck out for me most in the beginning stages of the decline of Hawking’s (character) mobility. She can see what’s coming, but fights through the pain nonetheless, and carries on by his side through it all. My favourite scene (pictured above) is when she sees his deteriorating condition as she watches him play croquet. The way her eyes well up and her face twitches as she watches him was difficult to watch.
Eddie Redmayne on the other hand impressed me more and more the worse his character’s condition got. He did an absolutely gut-wrenchingly brilliant job of the movements and physical disposition of Hawking. Redmayne has even quoted an email from Hawking saying that he (Hawking) thought he was watching himself at some points in the film.
On the other hand, I don’t think the film will pick up too many awards in other categories. The competition is tough, and while I enjoyed the score (it’s nominated for best original score), as well as the lighting, I don’t feel like it could walk away with the grand Best Picture award on February 22nd.
The Theory of Everything is a beautiful, slightly tragic love story that does justice to its subjects, and their life together.
See it/ Don’t see it: Definitely go and see it. Lovely film for date night, I’d say.
More on The Theory of Everything: