I was convinced the universe didn’t want me to see this movie. Emily and I eagerly bought our tickets for the film, but the projector in our theater inexplicably broke down, as Mike the theater attendant apologetically told us before offering us some free theater goodies. When we heard the Theory of Everything was playing at the historic Fargo Theater downtown, we knew it was the universe’s way of apologizing for our inconvenience.
The movie is about Stephen Hawking, his debilitating disease, and his brilliant mind. It concentrates on his family life, especially his relationship with his then-wife Jane.
Emily and I both knew that the movie would deal with Stephen Hawking’s disease, but we were both still surprised at the direction the filmmakers took. Here are our thoughts on it.
Kayley: For me, the acting was where the movie really stood out. It’s why I think it was nominated for a couple Oscars this year. Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking was a very physically demanding acting challenge that could easily have been done poorly, but I forgot I was watching an actor as the movie went on. The physicality of his role wasn’t distracting at all for me, which is how it should be.
Emily: He did great. And the woman who played his wife, Felicity Jones, also did an amazing job. The filmmakers really portrayed her caregiver role strain in a very realistic way.*
*Emily is currently a nursing student with experience in the field
Emily: I was really surprised at the film in terms of what the story was about.
Kayley: Me, too. I thought it was going to be more about the process of Hawking discovering or coming up with his theories. It didn’t tie in with his career very much. During one scene he was teaching at Cambridge, the next he was famous…but the plot didn’t really touch on that. It just kind of happened with no warning.
Emily: It was very romance-heavy. In my opinion, it was a little too rom-com —the scenes were a little too beautiful. That scene of them at the party watching the fireworks go off…I was like “Am I watching the Notebook?” I would have also liked to have seen them connect more with Jane’s religious beliefs. They spent a lot of time on that dynamic of how she’s religious and Stephen wasn’t and how that affected their relationships and his work.
Kayley: There wasn’t really a payoff with that. Not a definite one. There’s a saying – if the audience sees a loaded gun sitting on the shelf in the first act, by the third act, the gun should go off. With the religious undertones in this movie, I felt like they were waving the gun around for the whole movie and then it just kind of got put back on the shelf.
Kayley: Rent it. It was pretty good, but I didn’t feel like I needed to see it in a theater.
Emily: This would be a good “Date Night” movie. With Stephen and Jane, they explored this deeper level of love. How far would you go for someone in that situation? Do you love them enough to let them go? It really got me thinking about my own relationship when we were watching it.