"'ello, everyone – I'm going to become one of the most famous physicists of all time, crippling medical condition be damned!" Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) poses with his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) in a scene from THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. Credit: Liam Daniel/Focus Features.


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis and Maxine Peak

WRITER(S): Anthony McCarten (screenplay); Jane Hawking (book on which the film is based)

DIRECTOR(S): James Marsh


60 SECOND PLOT SYNOPSIS (OR AS CLOSE TO IT AS ONE CAN TRY TO MAKE): A brilliant student at the renowned Oxford University in Cambridge, England, Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is well on his way to earning his Ph.D. in physics given his seemingly unmatched acumen when it comes to all things about time and the universe. Better yet, he has just met the potential girl of his dreams in Jane (Felicity Jones), who takes an instant liking to the awkward young man after the two meet at a campus party.

Then, one day, Stephen collapses – only to wake up to the most horrifying news of his life: He has a form Lou Gehrig's Disease (also known as a ALS) and a diagnosis of only 2 years to live.

Determined to finish his degree, Stephen initially tries to distance himself from just about everyone only to see Jane – who is not going to let Stephen, his father (Simon McBurney) or anyone else – stop her from loving him.

For Stephen, who is in search of one theory to explain everything in the universe since the beginning of time, Jane's love may just be what he needs ...

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST?: Science fans; agnostic/atheists; people who love a love story where the characters "overcome all odds;" people who are fans of star-crossed lovers; people who are disabled physically who are quite capable mentally

WHO WON'T – OR SHOULDN'T – LIKE THIS FILM?: People who don't like slower paced romances; those who who rather watch a documentary about Hawking's work than his personal life; people who procrastinate instead of getting things done.

FINAL VERDICT – IS IT GOOD, GREAT, BAD OR DOWNRIGHT AWFUL? Bolstered by a solid cast, complimentary performances and realistic, emotional portrayals that will elicit sympathy, empathy, laughter and joy in the audience, The Theory of Everything is a fine film nearly as extraordinary as its subject.

Given Hawking's proliferation in popular culture – the man's been on The Simpsons & Futurama several times for goodness sake – many people may be surprised to know his full story as detailed in Everything. Fortunately, under the direction of James Marsh (Man on Wire), the film details Hawking's rise, physical descent and ultimate rise again in a manner that is respectful to its subject while at the same time manages to be entertaining without glossing over any important details.

While many people will be tempted to simply focus on the phenomenal performance Redmayne delivers – not just in capturing the rigors of Hawking's debilitating physical ailment, but his humor, his spirit and his drive, Jones more than holds her own, delving equally deeply into the highs and lows of being by Stephen's side as he rises, falls and suffers under his condition. What isn't lost, however, throughout any of the couple's ups and downs is there genuine affinity for each other, which is the only thing that could have kept their bond together in marriage for 12 years and why their friendship remains intact to this day.

A beautiful friendship ... How fitting for a movie that is all about showcasing the power that a beautiful friendship can have on two lives and the entire universe surrounding them.



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