Anthony McCarten may have had plenty of headaches while writing this romantic drama under the disguise of a biography, because how large a gimmick is the story, the same goes for director James Marsh in building the setup. They should've had gone back in time, defying their subject scientist's theory, and pondered upon how to create an adaptation of a memoir which seems partly biographical and mostly a novella. I haven't read the memoir and nor do intend to, but the main problem with this apparently inspiring film is that it focuses more on the personal lives of Professor Hawking and his ex-wife. While that be it, the thing that fuels this problem into a wildfire is that the audience think of it as just not a romantic drama (like the synopsis suggests), but actually an upright biography about the cosmologist.
To an extent, even director James Marsh (whose Oscar-winning doc Man On Wire, about Philippe Petit's daredevil act, failed to gather traction, so Robert Zemeckis is making a film) tries to sweep it off as a romantic drama. The ounces of insights into the professor's study and his theories can be found only in the background, thus nullifying the whole shindig. As a romantic drama, I started loathing few characters, which if I disclose who may cause you to loathe me as well; characters who can be found in a string of romantic dramas over the past decades.
As a biography, which it sometimes pretends to be, The Theory of Everything shuns science which is ironic. Eddie Redmayne is fabulous, although he may slip by with only an Oscar nod, maybe. Felicity Jones is sweet and so were the supporting characters, who would have had bigger roles to act if this were not a genre confusing tide.
The cinematography is fine, and so is the music, the latter of which tries to support the apparent inspiration inducing characteristic I was talking about. All said and done, the film never quite bores you, always engaging us with short sequences that describe as to what really happened since 1963. Had they exploited 5 minutes of the 120 minute narration to explain his disease, I would have jumped up in my chair.
BOTTOM LINE: The Theory of Everything is a non-self-deprecating drama that takes its viewers on a canoe-ride into the lives of the great Stephen Hawking and second-rate Jane Hawking. A drama so good and a biography so bad that if I wanted to learn about the scientist's theories, I would reread his books.
The best biopic of the year..
Redwayne nails it as stephen hawkings. Felicity jones is also great with everything working perfectly especially background music.