Stephen Hawking’s Motor Neuron Disease diagnosis brought an urgency to his prodigious career and personal life.
Expected to live just two years, Hawking has a rare slow progressive form of the condition and has surpassed his life expectancy by fifty years. For 30 of those years, Hawking was cared for by his ex-wife Jane Hawking. Adapted from her book Travelling to Infinity, The Theory of Everything covers their relationship from their meeting at Cambridge to the release of Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and beyond.
Felicity Jones is terrific as Jane. She’s a strong foundation of support for Hawking, bringing him from despair after his diagnosis. The disease’s slow progression puts a strain on their married life and Jones illustrates the pressure illness can have on a carer. As Hawking Eddie Redmayne is sensational, deserving of every plaudit he’s been receiving. As his body declines, he expresses the gradual stages of the disease with a remarkable authenticity.
I did feel The Theory of Everything painted Hawking’s life with a Hollywood gloss; to make him more relatable, the scope of his accomplishments are glanced over in favour of his love life. It’s a film elevated by it’s two excellent leads.