Saturday, November 22, 2014
Review: Theory of Everything (2014)
I Have A 'Theory' That This Film Is A Biopic Done Right
I remember when I did my review of the trailer for Theory of Everything, I said that when I watched it, my biggest fear was that this film would end up being A Beautiful Mind 2.0 since they both deal with a famous professor trying to overcome their physical or mental disabilities with support from their wives, but I loved how this film threw those worries out the window and managed to become one of the better biopics to come out in recent memory.
Theory of Everything follows the real-life story of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) from when they meet over the course of their days at Cambridge to when Hawking becomes diagnosed with ALS.
I'll start off with the performances. First, I'll get into Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking. Redmayne is outstanding and the 'genius' of his performance is that even as Hawking slowly succumbs to his illness, Redmayne manages to showcase the optimism and vulnerability in Hawking's heart through small gestures. Since the film is a biopic, this performance doesn't feel like simple mimicry as Eddie Redmayne manages to offer his own special complexities to a real-life figure. Felicity Jones is also outstanding as Jane and while she doesn't have a more physical role like Redmayne does, she does showcase the tough emotional commitment to the role without any larger-than-life style acting and I love that Jones is getting the same amount of praise that Redmayne is. Even though there is some solid supporting work from actors like Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, and David Thewlis aka Professor Lupin, it is very much Eddie and Felicity's movie.
Next, I'll get into the direction by James Marsh. I thought this film was shot beautifully and quite Malick-esque as why there is special lighting in certain scenes, the film is shot with quite a bit of gritty realism. I also thought that the score was quite beautiful as well and interestingly, it not only carried over the lighter scenes, but some of the more heartbreaking ones like a scene that involves Jane and Stephen playing croquet after Stephen is diagnosed with ALS and as Jane is watching Stephen, we can get the sense of what kind of guilty emotions she is going through thanks to Jones' acting as well as the score, in my opinion.
Overall, The Theory Of Everything is a beautifully-crafted biopic that deals with the complications of love in a more natural way. The performances by Redmayne and Jones are absolutely astounding and the direction by James Marsh is enough to make ones like Terrence Malick proud.
Would I Recommend It?:
If you like love stories and don't want one that is too sugarcoated, I would say yes. Plus, if you are fond of Stephen Hawking and his work, I would say give it a watch.