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Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Theory of Everything (2014)

In a bumper year for biopics of super nerds, this movie about the life of Stephen Hawking stands out.  Eddie Redmayne plays Hawking, a gifted student at Cambridge who falls in love with a wonderful girl, and then begins to have symptoms of ALS, a motor neuron disorder that has him in a wheelchair in a matter of years.

Redmayne does an excellent job of portraying the physical downhill slide that Hawking and his wife had to cope with.  The emotional side of the losses are harder to capture and less well demonstrated.  His first wife Jane (Felicity Jones) is sure that she loves him and she wants to take care of him and enable him to continue to be a great theoretical scientist, but on the other hand, she is a nursemaid to him and their ever burgeoning family.  She was not cut out for going it alone in the nursing role.  She gets some help and ends up being very smitten with her helper.  Meanwhile Hawking further deteriorates to the point where they get him a professional nurse, and the two of them make a pair.  I think that the emotional dynamics are shown but not really fleshed out, but then, that might be asking a bit much for a film.  The bottom line is that this is a well executed movie that is worth watching.

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