There's definitely a reason The Theory of Everything has been nominated for five Oscars and has already earnt Eddie Redmayne, who plays Professor Steven Hawking in the film, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for 'Best Actor'.
The film focuses on the relationship between Steven Hawking and his first wife Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). We're taken from the light hearted first encounters of the couple in the world of 1960's Cambridge University, through Stephen's diagnosis before finally reaching the relationships heart-wrenching and quiet end. It's this quiet end that really hits home and there is a lot to be said for the other moments that are played out in total silence in the film; Redmayne's muted pain affects you deeply. A particular scene in which he silently struggles to climb the stairs alone stands out as one of the most memorable in the film but there's no denying you are utterly convinced by Redmayne's performance throughout.
Despite this, the brilliantness of Redmayne's complete transformation into Stephen Hawking shouldn't overshadow Felicity Jones' performance as Jane Wilde. She manages to capture a full spectrum of emotions in her slightest movements. And perhaps most importantly, she works an opposing force contributing her own formidable humour and life to the film.
However, while the film focuses on the life and relationships of these two very real people, it does so much more than that. It portrays an attitude to life in general which can be summed up with the much-used quote from the film, 'However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. While there is life there is hope.' This underlying message, plus the essential inclusion of Stephen's infamous sense of humour, gives the film a much needed lift. It serves as a reminder that this is a film about a man's successes despite the odds.
Visually the film isn't groundbreaking but it's definitely pleasing to the eye. Despite this the filming is fluid and keeps the story moving where otherwise it might have dragged. The shots contribute to the overall impact of the film quietly and consistently, from scientific theories explained through Artsy coffee swirls to the familiar streets of Cambridge
The film is moving and exceptionally well executed. I left the cinema having laughed, cried, been completely convinced by the actors and immersed in the story. Which, to me, is everything a great film should do.