Film Review: “The Theory of Everything”

1 the theory Poster

This was to be the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. It fell far short of achieving that goal. Where was the brilliant mind of Stephen Hawking in this film. I saw one slim moment when, alas, I thought, the film is going to begin delving into the brilliance of Stephen Hawking. He may have fallen deeply in love with his fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde, but the form in which the film portrays that love affair is dull and boring.


The manner in which ‘The Theory of Everything’ was filmed made me feel like from the opening bike ride, we were supposed to be waiting, as an audience, for the countdown to begin when we would see Stephen Hawking’s body do something that would click into place the moment of descent, when everything would start to fail. It did exactly that, a hold your breath moment, and it happens. From there, the progressive decline increased and we fell into the rest of the film of watching a body diminish in capacity.

2 the theory jane & stephen in lights

Yes, Stephen Hawking was a healthy, active young man, who at age 21 gets shafted with the worse possible medical diagnosis for anyone. He is given two years of survival. Jane convinced him they should spend the remaining time together. Those two years, obviously turned in to many more than we can count. She remained at his side, however exhausting and destructive it was to their relationship.

Stephen takes full advantage of what time he thinks he has left to study what he most wants to understand – TIME.

The film is based on the memoir ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen’ by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh.

3 the theory jane & stephen twirling around by the water

Where was the film that would show Stephen Hawking’s brilliance? I didn’t see Stephen Hawking. What I saw was a person struggling with the loss of the use of his body. It was like watching a film on physical therapy. There was no imagination used to express who Stephen Hawking really is. He went past his body. What happened to trying to show the audience the genius inside his mind. That was absent from this film. I found it to be boring and similar to watching paint dry.

4 the theory wedding kiss jane & stephen

I am a fan of Stephen Hawking and Eddie Redmayne. I wanted to see Stephen Hawking on the screen and in the story. It didn’t exist for me. Eddie Redmayne did a caricature of a body slowly losing its ability to be a body. I already knew this about Stephen Hawking. What I wanted to see was the Stephen Hawking from the inside. His inner being as he discovered his theories. How he figured out the Universe and what he thought was the theory of TIME. The love story still could have remained intermittent but even the love story was completely lacking in depth.

5 the theory stephen riding while it rains outside

‘The Theory of Everything’ should have been just that, ‘The Theory of Everything.’ It was unwatchable but I forced myself to view it from start to finish. It lacked dimension in the characters and depth of story. It was a failure as a film and a story about Stephen Hawking. Where was Stephen’s creativity exhibited? Showing us his books being placed in bookstore windows. That doesn’t tell us a thing. I learned nothing. I was inspired by nothing except that brief promising minuscule moment, a tease, and it disappeared completely, never to be seen in any form again.

6 the theory stephen in wheelchair jane & female helper

The relationship between Stephen and Jane, the love story, was a pale example of what love is, with the brief moments when a smile would cross Jane’s face watching Stephen as a healthy young man. But otherwise, all was lacking. I wanted and hoped I would get an insight into the genius of Stephen Hawking. It wasn’t there. And I was so excited at the thought of finally seeing this film. How disappointing to discover the film I thought would be there never existed.

7 the theory stephen with his two children girl & boy

I have seen both films now, ‘The Theory of Everything’ and ‘The Imitation Game.’ It is time to make a brief comparison out of an essential need to prove the Academy is prejudice and has some weird need for an actor to do something distorting about their body to make their performance Oscar worthy. My feelings are Benedict Cumberbatch was robbed by the Academy. His performance soared and his film had the viewers on the edge of oblivion throughout ‘The Imitation Game.’ I was shouting at the screen throughout the entire film. ‘The Theory of Everything’ was an utter and complete wash-out. I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT AT ALL.

8 the theory stephen on stage at end of film his theory accepted

[I was told the following was going too far, maybe so, but here it is]. I feel Eddie should relinquish his golden statue, box it up, and send it to Benedict immediately with an apology for thinking the mere distortion of one’s body is enough of a performance to warrant the gratification of winning praise and a prize for WHAT? It was not an Oscar worthy performance, nor was the film worthy of an Oscar Nomination for Best Anything or Everything. There was no ‘Everything’ in ‘The Theory of Everything.’

Sorry to be the bearer of disappointment. I wanted ‘The Theory of Everything’ to be good but it wasn’t even near ‘Good.’ Maybe the filmmakers felt they could use Stephen Hawking’s name and that would be enough, but they forgot to include his mind, the best part of Stephen Hawking. Yes, he survived ALS beyond everyone’s imagination. But where was everyone’s IMAGINATION when they created Stephen Hawking’s story. Jane Hawking may have written the book from which the screenplay was adapted, but where was the story. It surely wasn’t on the screen and neither was Stephen except as a body. What happened to his MIND? That’s the film I wanted to see and still want to see. [Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Love Story but this was nothing like a Good Love Story].

‘The Theory of Everything’ Official Trailer #1 (2014) – Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones Movie HD

Rating: PG-13 (for some thematic elements and suggestive material)
Genre: Drama
Directed By: James Marsh
Written By: Anthony McCarten
On DVD: Feb 17, 2015
Runtime: 2h 3m
Focus Features

Eddie Redmayne…as Stephen Hawking
Felicity Jones…as Jane Wilde
Charlie Cox…as Jonathan Hellyer
David Thewlis…as Dennis Sciama
Simon McBurney…as Frank Hawking
Maxine Peake…as Elaine Mason

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Film Review: "The Theory of Everything", 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

About the Author:

Words. Ideas. Visions. Sounds. Abstractions. Attract the Writer. Poet. Artist Inside of Me. Seeking Out the Unknown & Infinite Possibilities & Impossibilities. Living My Life Filled with Imagination & Creativity. Zen – j.kiley
  • Larry Conley

    For once, I disagree with your take on a movie. I saw this as a movie about the man behind the mind. Eddie Redmayne was in my opinion superb an I was thrilled when he won the best-actor Oscar.

    Unlike many who may have gone to this movie, I was highly familiar with Hawking’s theories. I knew little of Hawking the man and of his family and relationships. Therefore, I was pleased to learn what I did and thrilled to see what I viewed as superb portrayals.

    As they say, being different people makes it possible for us to differ and this does not detract in the slightest from my joy in and admiration of your marvelous reviews.

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  • jennifer kiley

    Thanks for expressing your opinion Larry. What you write is the way I wanted to feel but it never came through to me in the vision you observed. I am a follower of Stephen Hawking and feel he is one of the most brilliant men alive. He is definitely a genius. I went into this film with different expectations and didn’t find what I thought would be there. And I agree it is perfectly fine to have differing views and experiences.

    I adore Eddie Redmayne as an actor and have seen several other of his performances. One in particular stands out. The one with Marilyn Monroe played by Michelle Williams. I believe the title of the film is, “A Weekend with Marilyn.” It took place in England when Marilyn was working with Laurence Olivier, that didn’t go over well their relationship, the film, I believe was titled, “The Prince and the Showgirl.” The complaints mounted but the biggest one was she was always late to the set. I think that was because she needed to prepare herself. She was extremely sensitive and felt everything and needed time to pull herself together. It wasn’t the pills. It was her need for perfection. I recommend both Marilyn fills, where she is real and when it is pretend with someone else playing her.

    Thanks for your feedback Larry. I hope mine will guide you further along the movie path to some really enjoyable films to add to your list if you haven’t seen already.

    Jennifer <3 😀

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