Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Theory of Everything

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I don't know the theory to it but I know the answer to everything...42.

The Theory of Everything – 4 out of 5

Is it fair to call Stephen Hawking a badass?  The dude is a genius and has posed theories about the creation of our universe that is beyond my ability to fully comprehend.  Not to mention that Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or motor neuron disease (also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease), a degenerative disease that leaves the body paralyzed.  He was diagnosed back when he was 21 in 1963 and was told he would only have two years to live.  50 plus years later he’s still here and he’s still proving to be smarter than all of us.  I respect the guy and try as best as I can to understand the science and theoretical work he’s throwing down.  I guess that’s why I was very interested in The Theory of Everything.

To answer my original question:  Yes, he is a badass!

The film focuses on the relationship between Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones).  While attending Cambridge University in 1963, Hawking began to theorize that the creation of the universe stemmed from black holes.  During this time, he courted Jane and suddenly found his body rebelling against him and was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Even though he closed himself off to the world to work on his theory, Jane persisted and eventually the two married and started a family.  Predictably, the disease took its toll on him and he began to lose more and more of his body’s function and the struggle of being both his wife and his caretaker begins to take as much of a toll on Jane’s strength as it does on Stephen’s morale.

And there's some laughs along the way.

Just watching the trailer and I knew this was going to be a giant tear-jerker…and boy was it!  However, my weak and teary eyes aside, the film is really an incredible bio-pic.  A lot of bio-pics will focus on the relationships that define the subject’s life but they also focus heavily on what made them memorable to begin with.  The Theory of Everything flips the script slightly and makes the film less about Hawking’s intelligence and his work as a theoretical physicist and it focuses more on the relationship between him and Jane and the toll his disease takes on them.  It made for a much deeper bio-pic that was filled with heartache and drama but beauty and smiles, as well.  Seeing what those two went through and the bond they shared even after they agreed to divorce (that’s not a spoiler because it’s just a part of their history) was incredibly inspirational.  Hell, just seeing how the disease never destroyed Stephen’s outlook on life and how it never ended his work makes me want to never give up on anything no matter how hard things get.

And there we go...the tears are starting to well up.

The visuals this film delivers are also quite breathtaking and really made for a gorgeous film.  Director James Marsh created some amazing sequences in this film that really provided some enormous emotional impact.  Frequently during the film, casual events in the Hawking family are shown through montages and the shots collected in them are practically works of art that can be framed and hung in museums.  

Pretty much every shot in this film is incredible.

With its amazing story and wonderful work from the director, the film is made even more memorable thanks to the performances of its entire cast.  Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne are absolutely fantastic as Jane and Stephen Hawking.  The inner turmoil that Jane is going through and the evolution of her relationship with her husband can be seen in not just how Jones delivers her lines but through every single motion her body does.   

The toll it took was so excellently performed that it made the movie feel very real.
Hawking has completed more in his life with a single theory
than most of us have done our entire lives.  That reality
is more motivational than a "Hang In There" cat poster.
Redmayne was so unbelievable as Stephen that you could almost believe that he was a younger Stephen Hawking and the progression the disease takes on him is played our frighteningly realistic by him.  These two are backed up by an absolutely terrific cast where there isn’t a single player not giving their all.  Everyone from Harry Lloyd as a friend of Stephen to David Thewlis as his professor to Charlie Cox as the man who Jane would eventually marry after her divorce to Stephen to Maxine Peake as the woman that would later marry Stephen.  The entire cast is all exceptional and they all really brought the entire story to life extraordinarily.

Jane would go on to marry Daredevil it seems.

The only downside that exists in The Theory of Everything is that there isn’t much of a replay value going for it.  There’s no doubt I will watch the film again because it is so emotional, dramatic and beautiful but it’s probably not going to be in the near future.  However, this isn’t really a downfall of the film because it really is an amazing feature that made me smile and cry quite a bit—it’s really hard not to, honestly.

Dammit, here come the waterworks again.


  1. I've always been a big fan of Felicity Jones because that woman is so fucking talented. Check out Like Crazy and you will see what I mean. Plus I always knew Eddie Redmayne was gonna be a big star after watching My Week with Marilyn & Les Miserables.

  2. It looks and feels like utter cornball but the sheer commitment of the stars makes the whole thing deeply watchable.

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