Having long been a fine actor who primarily found his home on television and B movies like the delightfully nasty ‘Black Death’, Eddie Redmayne charged in to the public eye with his performance in Les Misérables and things since then have only been going up. With both a Golden Globe win and a BAFTA nomination already in the bag for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in this film and rumours aplenty about possible involvement at the Academy Awards, Redmayne’s career jump is certainly substantial, and also worthwhile. His strong performance in the aforementioned musical epic was but a precursor to a virtuoso turn as the famous physics professor as he succeeds in emulating Hawking perfectly, blending realism with emotion in a powerful performance.
It’s a little bit of a shame that the film isn’t quite as great as he is. While Felicity Jones is also fantastic in her role as Jane, providing the perfect foil for Redmayne, director James Marsh’s adaptation is ultimately a little too light-hearted and airy for its own good, and it never really goes beyond being more than an interesting but ultimately not particularly innovative or enrapturing collection of life moments that are really not expanded on to enough of a degree. Sure, parts of it can definitely be affecting, but it loses that sense of life as we head towards the climax and just feels a little too by-the-numbers to really be anything special.
‘The Theory of Everything’ is ultimately a watchable and at times moving film that is bolstered by very strong performances by Redmayne and Jones and a great supporting cast of the likes of David Thewlis and Harry Lloyd. Unfortunately, while it’s perfectly good when up on the screen and Redmayne’s assimilation in to Hawking is flawless it’s a film that will put a smile on your face for a few minutes but quickly fade away, like a nice piece of chocolate with no lasting aftertaste. It’s a shame because the material is certainly there for it to be a bit more heavy hitting, but as it is it will coast nicely along before disappearing in to the distance. Pleasant, but by no means special, even though Redmayne and indeed Jones are deserving of all the praise they are getting.
To see when the film is showing click here