The One With The Theory Of Everything – The Story Jane & Stephen Hawking

For someone who cries at the movies all the time (the slightest swell in the soundtrack can set me off), I was surprisingly unmoved by The Theory Of Everything. Based on the second memoir by Jane Wilde Hawking (Stephen Hawking’s first wife), “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen”, it told the story of the famed scientist, played by a determined Eddie Redmayne.

The Theory Of Everything

Hawking’s battle with the debilitating motor neuron disease (a version of ALS, which was thrust into the limelight last year by the “Ice Bucket Challenge”) was inspiring. There was no doubt that Redmayne put in a great deal of effort into the physicality of the role, and he nailed it. Redmayne also embodied Hawking’s self-deprecating homour in the most endearing way.

The Theory Of Everything

As Jane, Felicity Jones was a tower of strength that supported Hawking (and to a large extent abandoned her own academic ambitions) as he pursued his life’s work of understanding the origins of the universe, and even time itself.

The Theory Of Everything

However, I felt there was a disconnect with the film’s handling of interpersonal relationships, not only between the couple, but also the nurse (Elaine Mason) and choir master (Jonathan Hellyer Jones) who came between them. This was a possible by-product of Director James Marsh’s documentary experience.

The Theory Of Everything

The difficulties of their marriage, beyond the obvious physical challenges, were glossed over in favour of a feel-good (read: awards-baiting) approach, as opposed to the tell-all nature of Jane Hawking’s first book “Music To Move the Stars”, released after their divorce and Hawking’s marriage to Mason. This version was definitely more palatable, but I don’t quite understand all the accolades that has been piled on it. Other than those for Redmayne, of course.

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