“The Theory of Everything”, a 2014 film directed by James Marsh, tells part of the life story of the theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientists of all time. Thanks to his studies, he managed, alongside Roger Penrose, to prove many theorems of gravitational singularity and, with James M. Bardeen and Brandon Carter, the laws of mechanics of black holes, among other discoveries. The film, which was supposed to talk about an irreplaceable genius for the world, ended up showing the public two. For it was a crucial moment for all eyes to open to Eddie Redmayne, one of the most crystallized talents in the seventh art of the 21st century.
You may not even like any of the films that Redmayne has made, but it is impossible to deny the quality and delivery of his performances. In his most recent work “O Enfermeiro da Noite”, he is the one who gives soul to the production, showing the ambiguity of the human spirit, capable of being good for good and even better for evil. His name is quoted to compete once again for the best actor statuette. If successful, it will be his third career nomination. In 2015, he was victorious precisely for “The Theory of Everything”, a role that earned him praise from Hawking himself, who in an email sent to Marsh, stated that at times, when he saw Redmayne, he believed he was looking at himself.
Preparing for the role was not easy. Although the actor has training, like Hawking himself, at one of the largest universities in England, Cambridge, playing the protagonist required a lot of study, effort and dedication. First, he once met with the scientist himself for three hours to get to know him in person. Afterwards, he lost six kilos, lived with patients affected by degenerative neurological diseases, learned body control from a professional, studied the order in which Hawking’s muscles were affected and trained for hours, for months, in front of a mirror to contort himself, including , the muscles of the face. All that care and devotion to deliver a performance like Hawking in the most faithful and respectful way possible.
The plot of Marsh’s film, which took ten years to have the screenplay adapted by Anthony McCarten from the book “Journey to Infinity”, by Jane Hawking, recalls the story of the young scientist, his early years at university and falling in love with Jane , his first wife, even before discovering that he had a degenerative disease. After the diagnosis, Stephen Hawking came to believe that he had only two years to live. He and Jane got married, had three children, Robert, Lucy and Timothy, and over the years they developed a relationship far beyond marriage. In addition to caring for Stephen as his illness developed, Jane was also a great friend and co-worker.
The film, in addition to being a hymn to the scientist’s perseverance, who did not allow the disease to prevent him from developing important work in the astrophysical field, is an ode to the companionship and respect between him and Jane. A marriage that lasted 30 years and a partnership that lasted the rest of the researcher’s life. Stephen Hawking died in 2018, four years after the film’s release. The film production, with warm color photography and a script concerned with rescuing the story’s fidelity, was approved by both Stephen and Jane. The film is a way of perpetuating, for the general public, not just academics and scientists, the life and contribution of the physicist. It also featured beautiful performances by Felicity Jones, David Thewlis and Charlie Cox.
Movie: The theory of everything
Direction: James Marsh
Genre: Biography / Drama