“Theory of Everything” Exquisite and Unconventional

imageJames Marsh’s The Theory of Everything (A-) is the unconventional true love story of Stephen and Jane Hawking, portrayed indelibly by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and based on Jane’s memoirs. While bound by the confines of the biopic structure, the film illuminates grand themes of unconditional love, the limits of sacrifice and one’s place in the universe. As Professor Hawking, Redmayne is charming and beguiling and showcases the effects of a neurological degenerative disorder with spectacular realism; he is never an object of sympathy as he continually confounds the odds. Jones has a demanding role of her own right as lover and caretaker, trying to bring order to a life spiraling out of control, and she embodies the role with fierce fortitude. Charlie Cox is also a standout as a family friend with his own designs on the couple’s brief history of time. Marsh photographs the film lushly and embues the characters with realism and humanity. Although the story doesn’t fully plumb the depths of the scientific side of Hawking’s career, it shares a far more unexpected and cinematic slice of his life.