Title: The Theory of Everything Director: James Marsh Year: 2014 Run time: 2hrs 3m
“Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of - time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed.”
2:10 - Love an age where you can just leave your bike on the street. 3:08 - “Oh him? He’s strange.” 6:30 - Yay, not even ten minutes in and there’s some rowing! 7:48 - “Actually busy Sunday mornings.” Oops. 12:40 - I bet scientist types are looking at the gadgets all impressed. 14:01 - Bit early for a meet the parents dinner. 17:02 - Amazing fact about the washing powder. Gotta love a smarty pants. 19:46 - Just realised with the bridges and the gondolas, Cambridge is quite like Venice. 23:01 - It’s all fun and games messing about by the river until… 27:02 - Just amazing his first thought was the brain. 34:00 - One day must learn how croquet works. 41:49 - They’re doctorate review was a little bit X-Factor. “Pack your bags, you’re… through to the next round!” 47:01 - “Well, it’s convenient for breakfast.” Nothing wrong with sleeping in the kitchen! 1:00:55 - Joining the choir, solves everything. 1:05:12 - Love him disproving himself. 1:06:19 - Science lessons with peas and potatoes. 1:19:29 - “Bearing in mind you have to drive.” Eek, bless. 1:33:48 - Elaine is awesome! 1:47:41 - Now I’m going to have to read A Brief History of Time. 1:52:06 - “No matter how bad life may seem, there is always something you can succeed at.”
I put this one off a little, knowing that it was going to pull at the heart-strings, but it couldn’t be denied forever. And of course it did, I cried for about twenty minutes - although oddly my tears came halfway through rather than at the end. Whereas this was clearly a love story about Jane and Stephen (based on her book, it kinda had to be), I was more interested in the biopic side. Thus the scenes where you can see him fighting but having to come to terms with his diagnosis, and his limits, that’s what got me.
It was great, well acted and I can see why Hawking said that at some points he thought he was watching himself. It wasn’t quite as, I don’t know, riveting, as I thought it might be. I think it couldn’t quite decide whether it wanted to be the love story or the biopic and so it didn’t quite maximise on either. But it was fascinating and painful to watch, and just makes me think about what great things people achieve against the odds… and how very little I’ve achieved so far.