Many moviegoers may think they already know a good deal about Hawking’s achievements, but they would do themselves a disservice to miss out on Redmayne’s almost perfect performance.
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With so many elements working on such a high plain, it is ultimately a shame that The Theory of Everything remains a formulaic biopic with a scope far narrower than its subject. Still, it broaches universal themes through the story of a man who studies the universe, and succeeds in being a life and love-affirming along the way.
It's a film to leave you reeling but cheered, too. It's about battling love, as well as illness. A universal story, extracted from a unique one.
The Theory of Everything makes a pass at the complexities of love, but what’s onscreen requires a bit more investigation.
Meticulous in its adherence to conventional narrative inducement, this biopic only offers a sanded-down and embossed vision of Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde's 30-year marriage.
No matter how much The Theory of Everything showcases the incredible process through which Hawking maintains a connection to the rest of the world, it falls short of burrowing inside his head.
What’s onscreen is less a cerebral experience than a stirring and bittersweet love story, inflected with tasteful good humor, that can’t help but recall earlier disability dramas like “My Left Foot” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”
Facing the physical challenges of depicting Hawking’s disability, Redmayne pulls it off with enormous grace and endurance.
The film is a boilerplate biopic, but with stunning cinematography and a couple of fierce performances, The Theory of Everything is nothing if not an accomplished and emotional work of cinema.
It’s certainly Redmayne’s film, and his performance is everything you could ask for: completely convincing in its physicality, credible in its pain, and warmly but not crassly optimistic in its nearly constant good temper.