The Theory of Everything: Hawking biopic astounds

Eddie Redmayne better be nominated for an Academy Award.

He might not win, but with a pitch-perfect performance requiring such specific nuance in physicality, Redmayne certainly deserves acclaim for his turn as famed physicist Stephen Hawking in the British drama “The Theory of Everything.”

An hour into the film, it’s all too easy to forget that Redmayne is an actor portraying a character on screen.

While the film certainly deals with Hawking’s emergence as one of the world’s premiere scientists, “The Theory of Everything” focuses more on the development of Hawking’s relationship with his future wife, Jane, amid the onset of his debilitating ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

One part biopic and two parts love story, the film works only because Redmayne’s heartbreaking portrayal of Hawking pairs perfectly with Felicity Jones’ understated, yet firm Jane.

In fact, the film is at its best when it avoids the complex physics and sticks with the simplest notion of unbridled love and emotion.

The story, while following true events and a lackluster screenplay from Anthony McCarten, is elevated by both lead actors’ performances as well as the light, delicate touch of director James Marsh — best known for his Oscar-winning documentary “Man on Wire.”

Each scene is carefully detailed visually, from the movement of the camera — especially in memorable 360-degree rotation moments — to the richness of the colors captured by cinematographer Benoît Delhomme.

While not on the upper echelon of cinema to be released this fall, “The Theory of Everything” is a poignant and bittersweet biopic worthy of making an effort to find before the Academy Awards early next year.

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