Biopics live and die on the strength of their performances, and fortunately for James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, a telling of the life and loves of Stephen Hawking, the two leads are marvelous. Eddie Redmayne (Jupiter Ascending) plays the renowned cosmologist, while Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) plays his wife Jane. It is these transformative performances that are the true strength of the film, and are what elevate this above your standard life-story movie.
Based on her memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen Hawking, the focus is on the relationship between Stephen and Jane, both the remarkable ups and notable downs. Those of you looking for more science will be disappointed, but that’s not really the point here. At it’s core, Theory is a romance. You follow the young lovers from their nerdy, awkward meet cute at Oxford in 1963, through their courtship, Stephen’s diagnosis with motor neuron disease, his most groundbreaking work, and through the course of their years together.