The new movie The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking will be soon in the UK cinemas! Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds – Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane Wilde. The movie follows their life from the first meeting in Cambridge in 1964, with an earth-shattering Stephen’s diagnosis at 21 years of age and his increasing disability.
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. The most harrowing scene is almost wordless, as Hawking inches his agonised way up the stairs to where his baby son Robert looks on from above, dumbly witnessing his own father’s regression to sub-toddler mobility. Redmayne is so good at this mute distress you temporarily forget he’s acting; it happens again at the end. His tears when the couple throw in the towel recognise half a lifetime of love, and mourn it: the scene hits home.
The film’s emotional punch, however, comes from the trauma the disease wreaks on Hawking as one half of a couple. It manages that rare thing in any movie, least of all a well-upholstered biopic, and that is a realistic relationship, with grace notes, and a bedrock of respect and affection.
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