L-R: Stephen Hawking, Jane Wilde, Eddie Redmayne [Hawking], Felicity Jones [Jane]
I don’t write reviews. Dry, objective articles about movies, music, books. I write opinion pieces. Pure opinion, with a smattering of facts. Basically I write my thoughts. Because, I have this theory. I can’t write what everyone is thinking, and often reviews don’t reflect what people will actually end up thinking.
I avoid reading reviews of movies that I’m planning to watch regardless of whether they are good or bad, at least until after I’ve watched the movie. For me, I want to get my own impressions rather than letting what others think dictate my watching experience.
So, in light of that. Here are my, probably, highly biased thoughts on The Theory of Everything.
1. The score. The musical score. When a movie soundtrack is all original score and doesn’t have popular music I often find that a lot more effective. And this movie was no exception. Johann Johannsson’s original score [which won the film best original score at the Golden Globes] [wikipedia] helps draw the audience into the story; I definitely reacted to the music, coupled with the scenes, in a visceral way. One of the best musical scores I’ve heard in quite some time.
2. The story. I truly related to the story. Not in that my life is the same. On a much deeper level. It’s based on the book written by Jane Wilde Hawking, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. The movie explores their journey together through all the challenges that came their way. I have always respected and admired Stephen Hawking’s contribution to science. Even though his views on religion have been polarising. But, as a fellow human being I am truly inspired by his human spirit and the fact that he achieved so much, despite the challenges. And the fact that Jane stood by him for so long.
3. The actors. Eddie Redmayne was an inspired choice for the role of Hawking. I already thought he was a pretty good actor, as I’ve watched him in Les Miserables and Birdsong. However, I believe his portrayal of Hawking has lifted him into the echelons of the greats. Premature, perhaps? But, he won a Golden Globe for best actor and is nominated for an Oscar for the same.
Felicity Jones as Jane Wilde. I haven’t seen much of her and I don’t know much about Jane Wilde, however, I felt that I could connect with her character and felt all her frustrations and her hope and her joys through the whole movie. And her faith.
David Thewlis as Eddie’s Professor and then colleague. It was funny seeing him out of the Harry Potter context, but at the same time refreshingly British. Still playing a Professor mentor type character.
Other supporting roles: Charlie Cox as Jonathan Jones [Jane’s second husband]. Jonathan was one of those characters you can’t help but love. He was an imperfect human as we all are, but he had a serving heart, and though it was obvious that he was falling in love with Jane, he also became a very good friend to Stephen, so I never got mad when Jane ended going to him. That whole dynamic between the three of them made sense, especially after Hawking’s nurse, Elaine, came into the picture. After all, Jonathan shared the same faith as Jane. And for Jane to stick it out so long with Stephen is testimony in and of itself.
Of course, there is most definitely more to that story as is the case with any movie from book/true life story. But, I’ll get back to that.**
4. The science vs religion aspect. This was treated fairly in the movie. It is known by most people that Hawking is an atheist, perhaps not as vocal as the Zoologist Richard Dawkins, but due to the nature of Hawking’s studies nonetheless pointed. Considering Jane’s own faith the movie could have dissolved into a battle between atheism and religion, but that was not the point of the tale being told.
Okay…all of that up there still sounded kind of like a review. So, here’s something else.
This was such an amazing movie. It moved me to tears. The music, the message, and the acting. I saw it with my boyfriend and there were moments where it just reminded me of our relationship.
I will be seeing it again next weekend, so I may write a follow up post, but go and see it. It is definitely a movie worth seeing. Put aside any prejudices you may have because of religion or personal views of the debate between science and religion, because this movie is not about that.
This a story of love, courage, perseverance and defeating the odds. It’s a movie about a couple who experienced massive highs and devastating lows.
And, above all else, it’s a story about hope.