Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones
Directed by James Marsh
The Theory of Everything delves into Stephen Hawking’s story; where he was in life when his disease started, how he coped with the news, and his life readjusting to his condition. Hawking was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, also known by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), after he recently turned 21-years-old. This film is mostly told through his first wife’s perspective which made it interesting to see not only Hawking’s struggles but how a wife, who was told her husband had two years to live, is bound to care for him as he keeps on living.
Hawking is arguably the smartest man alive. The Theory of Everything begins his story as a student at Cambridge. It appears he doesn’t know which direction to take in his life as friends and his head professor ask him what he plans to major in. The question was unanswered, so Hawking attends a mathematician’s lecture with fellow students. The discussion inspired him to see if he can prove that space and time had a beginning in the Big Bang. After proving it, Hawking gained much attention. He wrote books and eventually became a Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College.
At Cambridge an awkward Hawking strikes up a friendship with Jane Wilde. They fall in love, but when a trip to the hospital reveals Hawking has ALS and not a long lifespan, he wants to end the relationship. Jane is resilient and determined to care for Hawking until his dying day, so they marry. Two years later, Hawking is not getting better, however he is alive and still using his brains to solve theories. With three children and a husband who is moved into a wheelchair, Jane is under a lot of pressure. She has to run a household and care for her husband, and ultimately they hire a caretaker who greatly admires Hawking.
The Theory of Everything isn’t as depressing as some of the other movies nominated for an Oscar (like The Imitation Game). While the characters have challenges to face there are happy endings to make the movie feel good. There’s the frustration on Hawking’s part of having a brilliant mind but he can’t use his arms or legs. For Jane, it’s a struggle to have a life outside of her home. Theory was worth the watch though a little slow, but it’s meant to be. It was interesting to learn more about someone you hear about from time to time as one of the most intelligent people alive. The only question I had at the end of the movie was, why would anyone turn down a knighthood?