One of the films I saw during the holidays of 2014 was The Theory of Everything, originally released in the theaters in early November. This didn't get a lot of buzz at that time; it had in fact a very indie-like film feel to it, originally released in limited theaters.
However, I knew about this because first, I've been on the lookout for Eddie Redmayne because of his amazing portrayal of Marius in Les Miserables in 2013. Secondly, I sort of have girl crush on Felicity Jones because she is always just lovely and great with her craft (ex: Like Crazy, which is on Netflix if you're interested). Last but not the least, Stephen Hawking is an exceptional, inspirational, and profound human being and scientist.
The Theory of Everything is a biographical account of Stephen Hawking's life, but most specifically, his life with his previous wife, Jane Wilde-Hawking. It chronicles their romance and journey together. The movie is actually based on Jane Hawking's book, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, which sadly I haven't read before.
Nevertheless, I couldn't wait to see this film when I first heard of it. I remember watching the trailer and how it gave me goosebumps (You can watch the trailer here). When I finally got the chance to see the movie itself, I was left astounded.
I completely fell in love with this film, and thinking about it now still gives me this full feeling of happiness and awe. I love the fact that it tells a story that shows Stephen Hawking in another, more personal light. It not only highlights his achievements as a scientist and professor (though they did so, significantly well) but they also showed him as a human being. They showed who he was as a husband, a friend, a son, a colleague. They showed his humor, a characteristic that Hawking clearly has to this day. I also admired the fact that the writers and directors did not fear to show his vulnerability. Simply put, they managed to tell the real story, all with the careful attentiveness needed to do so. I also appreciated that it doesn't dumb down the audience, especially when speaking of science and the arts. At the same time, they do make it very easy and relevant for all audiences. That is always an added bonus.
Ultimately, Stephen Hawking is a person that everyone needs to be familiar with, because while he is popular, more people should know who he is.
The DVD and Blu-Ray comes out today, so I highly suggest you go out and buy a copy, as it deserves all the recognition it can get. The movie is now nominated for an Oscar, and I'm so happy Eddie Redmayne has not been ignored either; not only did he win several awards for Best Actor (SAG Awards, Golden Globes), he is also nominated for the Best Actor category in the Oscars this coming Sunday. I don't know about you, but I'm rooting for this underrated movie and these underrated actors.
More importantly, he also got the outstanding praise from Stephen Hawking himself. Stephen Hawking said on his Facebook page, "I thought Eddie Redmayne portrayed me very well in The Theory of Everything. He spent time with ALS sufferers so he could be authentic. At times, I thought he was me." If that is not testament to the good work he did, I don't know what is.
Read Jane Hawking's account: Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen
Buy The Theory of Everything on DVD and Blu-Ray