Oscars 2015 Best Picture Nominee Review #7: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Monday, 23 February 2015

Oscars 2015 Best Picture Nominee Review #7: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is beautifully mounted, but unremarkable biopic drama with great performances from Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

On the surface level, a biopic about the renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking seems like an instant winner that will attract a lot of critics and accolades. But despite securing five Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne and Best Actress for Felicity Jones, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING isn't exactly the kind of a so-called prestige picture worthy of an Oscar buzz.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING begins with the courtship between a brilliant young student Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and fellow student Jane (Felicity Jones) while studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Both of them immediately fall in love for each other, but one day, Hawking is diagnosed with motor neuron disease a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease that will cripple his human body movements from time to time until he is totally immobile. Despite his worsening condition, he and Jane are eventually married. They even try to raise a family, but it doesn't take long before Jane feels extremely stressful as she is struggling to maintain a normal relationship with her husband.

With the help of Benoit Delhomme's richly poetic cinematography and Jóhann Jóhannsson's poignant music score, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is a cinematic triumph on the technical fronts. Shot on location around Cambridge, John Paul Kelly's handsomely-mounted production design deserves a praise as well for contributing the overall stunning visuals in this movie.

Eddie Redmayne delivers an award-worthy performance as Stephen Hawking. From the slurred speech to the various stages of enduring physical limitations, Redmayne is so believable as the real-life figure himself. Felicity Jones is equally captivating with her heartfelt performance as Jane.


The magical scene where Stephen and Jane share their first romantic moment together at the May Ball in Cambridge.

The biggest flaw with this movie is Anthony McCarten's largely mundane screenplay that it truly surprises me the Academy voters awarded an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. As a biopic or even as a love story between Stephen and Jane Hawking, the movie fails to establish a significant emotional impact. Although James Marsh manages to prove himself as an accomplished visual stylist in this movie, his direction is sadly mediocre on the narrative front where it matters the most.


THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is best appreciated for Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones' Oscar-worthy performances, but keep your expectations low if you're looking for a definitive biopic about Stephen Hawking.

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