The accounts of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking’s (Eddie Redmayne) relationship with his wife Jane (Felicity Jones).
The story itself is incredibly awe-inspiring which will have you astounded by their demanding yet magnificent journey. The film balances the scientific elements with the aspects of romance skilfully (to a point) where it neither comes across too preachy or sugar-coated. The delivery and pacing of the narrative is executed to a high professional standard, yet in places it feels far too conventional. Which leads me onto the film’s biggest flaw; how the overall aesthetic nature of the film feels (exactly that) conventional. At times it appears like a made for television film, which can be attributed to the poor execution of editing. It never seems to have a consistently smooth flow because in places (from cut to cut) it feels clunky and jarring but, at other times of the film, the editing is impressive (most notably when Stephen receives his PHD). The movie doesn’t quite tackle the challenging issues Stephen and Jane faced with enough of a defiant inquest either – Instead it almost seems to half-question how they coped.
Perhaps the most captivating element of the film are the remarkable performances from promising British actors Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Harry Lloyd, and of course, Eddie Redmayne. Jones plays Jane’s character resoundingly well with a gritty (almost British) sense of defiance and compassion. Cox and Lloyd give solid showings as supportively caring characters. And Redmayne gives a stellar captivating portrayal of perhaps one of the most challenging representations in cinema history. A few have tried (I wouldn’t say they have failed) but they haven’t succeeded in more or less duplicating Hawking on-screen as accurately as Redmayne has. At times it will have you thinking the Professor has dropped by for a spot of acting – It’s that good. Now that he’s received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t win it.
I guess you can consider this an Easter Egg – Something only 90’s Premier League football fans and Chelsea supporters may recognise – A small cameo from World Cup winning defender Franck Lebouef. It’s something I, and I imagine many Chelsea fans, will be pleasantly surprised to see.
If only James Marsh could have ironed out those editing flaws then the film would have been a more completely rounded film. But overall, the compelling story and remarkable performances make this a very fascinating film.
3 and a half American Accents out of 5
by Simon Garganera Price