Science and love are a strange combination for a movie, but in the story of Dr. Stephen Hawking those are the themes. In the Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne gives a tour de force performance (Oscar worthy) as the brilliant man struck in his prime by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Holding her own is Felicity Jones, as Jane the precocious student flirting with Hawking, seeing his kindness, and stepping up to admit love and seeking marriage. He is fragile, his brain unlocking new physics theories as his body deteriorates. She is fragile steel, the good woman behind a flawed man.
Together they strive in the academic world. She gives up a lot, but stays stoic – helping him from canes to wheelchair to motorized chair to a computer voiced machine. He can continue his work, the brain unraveling theories about time – forward, backward, black holes, big bang theory, and the element of God. The director does a good job of showing Hawking’s work and discoveries without getting bogged down into too much deep material. We grasp the import without sitting through a lecture. We also see the love and struggles by Jane as she seeks help for Stephen and in raising their three kids.
The caretaker issue is a tricky one navigated by many. Jealousy can arise, lost hopes and dreams of normalcy cause frustration, and it certainly tests a marriage. Watch the film to see what I mean. I don’t want to give away more.
Needless to say, Stephen Hawking condemned to a two year death sentence in 1963 is still alive at age 70+ . His spirit and brilliance have inspired many, and advanced science. The Theory of Everything brings his and Jane’s story to a wider audience. Love and science – a unique combination and worthy tale.