A film recommendation for you this morning. The Theory of Everything, based on the memoirs of Stephen Hawking’s ex-wife, Jane, is quick, affecting, gloriously scored and inventively shot. It is not a perfect film, clinging to the rigid biopic format, telling us little we didn’t already know about the cosmologist, and will be a bit light on the science for pointy-headed types.
Yet all of that misses the point. In The Theory of Everything, Hawking is one half of a couple. This is a marital drama, where Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) and Jane (Felicity Jones) collide and fuse within three minutes of the opening credits. On Thursday, Professor Hawking will celebrate his 73rd birthday – outliving his life expectancy by 50 years, in no small part because of Jane. This is their story.
In his astonishing portrayal of Hawking, Redmayne contorts himself from student eccentric to the twisted, driven, funny, brilliant physicist whose body abandons him – the man recognised by the public. If Redmayne doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Actor, whoever does ought to hand him the prize. Jones as Jane has grace and steel, refusing to play the martyr.
Real life may have been much trickier, both battling their own inner torment, but these two bring tenderness to a complicated marriage.
The film is a life-affirming triumph of a couple’s love, and of the human spirit, in the face of catastrophe. You don’t need to have been the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics to calculate the value of that.Reuse content