It is refreshingly restorative watching a man withering physically, soaring intellectually. Eddie Redmayne (“Les Miserables”), gives a tour de force performance as Stephen Hawking (“A Brief History of Time”) who quested to discover “one single unified equation that explains everything in the universe”; diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 1963 (twenty-one- years old); glum prognosis, two years to live; he marries fellow Cambridge-student Jane Wilde (beautiful, sensitive portrayal by Felicity Jones), (film is based on Jane’s “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen”) whose astonishing intransigence allows Stephen to actualize his “Einstein” potential.
“The Theory of Everything” is riveting; Redmayne captures the man and his monumental vicissitudes, reminiscent of Patty Duke as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker” or Daniel Day Lewis in “My Left Foot”; progressively Hawking’s debilitating disease claims his body, speech; simultaneously his intelligence, levity and humor transcend his crippling physicality; his passionate infatuation with time; scientific search for a “complete description of the universe we live in”; conundrum of the “black hole” even today monopolizes his empirical investigation.
Above all else “The Theory of Everything” is an enchanting love story; far more than a “brief period in time” a fated couple change the world; defying the odds, a partnership, so unparalleled, it lent perfection to a universe Hawking believed improbable to achieve.
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!!