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Review: Redmayne delivers Oscar-worthy performance in 'The Theory of Everything'

Biographical film follows Stephen Hawking's life

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DETROIT – The story of Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde is a beautifully depressing one. Two young souls, seemingly destined for each other, thrown into a situation no one could imagine.

The Theory of Everything is a British biographical film, directed by James Marsh (Wisconsin Death Trip, Man on Wire). It follows the love story of world famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his one time wife, Jane Wilde. The film, inspired by Jane's memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, details the young life of Stephen Hawking before being diagnosed with ALS, as well as his life post-diagnosis.

The story centers around the beautiful love story and marriage between Stephen and Jane. They fall in love whilst studying at Cambridge in 1963. A short time after, Hawking is diagnosed with ALS, but Jane sticks by his side. He's told he has two years to live, but Jane refuses to let him die. They quickly get married and have kids. Stephen continues his work as a physicist. It's an eye-opening and cringeworthy look at a brilliant man, hindered by such a ravaging disease.

The film moves quickly through the years, which at times makes it hard to follow. Without knowing of Hawking's work, the timeline is not clear.

The clear standout is Eddie Redmayne, who plays Stephen Hawking. He was incredible. Just incredible. Redmayne spent six months researching Hawking's life. Director James Marsh stated that what Redmayne had to do was not easy. "He had to take on enormous amounts of difficult preparation as well as embracing the difficult physicality of the role. It's not just doing a disability. It's actually charting the course of an illness that erodes the body, and the mind has to project out from that erosion," he said. 

It would be utterly shocking if Redmayne didn't get an Oscar nod for this role, and it would surprise me if he didn't win. Felicity Jones was great as Jane, too. The emotion she showed connected so very well with the audience. I could feel her pain, as well as Stephen's.

RATING: 4 OUT OF 5

RELEASE: In select theaters Nov 21.

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