The Theory of Everything – Blu-ray Review

The Theory of Everything 2

Despite my long-held admiration for Felicity Jones and endless praise for the film I somehow managed to miss The Theory of Everything when it was in cinemas. Perhaps I was annoyed at having to share Jones with the rest of the general public or, more likely, nobody wanted to go and see the film with me knowing that I’d be slack-jawed throughout.

The Theory of Everything follows the romance of Stephen and Jane Hawking (Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones) from their first meeting at University and through their marriage as Stephen slowly becomes more and more dependant on Jane thanks to the onset of motor neurone disease. Tellingly most coverage of the film has focussed on the acting; to some degree on Jones’ performance as the ever-burdened wife but mostly on Redmayne and his brutal portrayal of a man slowly losing control of his body.

The praise for Redmayne is certainly well deserved as he audibly and physically transforms himself throughout the film from a sprightly young student to a wheelchair-bound professor. Most importantly what Redmayne manages to do is maintain the spark and personality that is such a vital part of the real Stephen Hawking. While he may end the film sitting almost immobile in a wheelchair Redmayne’s Stephen never loses his energy. Alongside Redmayne Jones brilliantly plays a woman not just dealing with raising two young children while coping with a demanding husband, but also shows the pain of a deeply religious woman whose husband does not respect her beliefs.

Together Redmayne and Jones portray a couple deeply in love who find their relationship straining when one loses their physical capabilities and the other struggles to find the emotional strength to carry on. Neither are passed off as saints as they both show signs of selfishness and weakness as their love for one another stumbles. It should definitely be noted that this is not a film about a science but a film about love. And while we’re at it, as a great narrator once said, this is not a love story; this is a story about love.

The film is undoubtedly moving and is as good as it is simply because of its strong lead performances; failing to truly wow with its script or direction. As I look back on the film I find I am left with a sense that some of the less loving emotions between Jane and Stephen may have been watered down. Their marriage was far from perfect, understandably considering the circumstances, and the lack of real anger in an otherwise emotionally open film felt suspect. Luckily the actors are skilled enough to distract you from second guessing while you watch the film itself.

These quibbles aside The Theory of Everything is a great showcase for two young British talents, though I suspect they have better films left in their careers. A film worth watching, just maybe not worth watching twice.

(But only just)The Theory of Everything 1

This being a period British film looking at people and emotions rather than explosions and special effects the extras on the Blu-ray are limited. What you get are a good number of deleted scenes and a brief documentary Becoming the Hawkings focussing on Redmayne and Jones preparing for their roles.

As far as I can tell the DVD has no special features. The horror!

The Theory of Everything is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

Out Now – 2nd January 2015


Apologies for the extended hiatus throughout December. I promise we will be back with more vigour in 2015. Happy New Year and all that.

Big Eyes
Tim Burton directs a film not featuring Helena Bonham Carter and yet we were all surprised when they announced their split. How much more obvious could they make it?

Exodus: Gods and Kings
In ancient Egypt when everyone was white, Moses freed the slaves with either the help of God or a series of secular coincidences. Ridley Scott continues to disappoint.

Olympian Louis Zamperini’s life story as told by Angelina Jolie and the Coens.

I am no great fan of the original Annie but I can’t see how adding Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz is going to improve it any.

The Theory of Everything
Bright young things Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones* bring to life the romance and drama of Stephen Hawking’s troubled first marriage to a devout Christian.

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Daniel Radcliffe has departed this budding franchise and the reviews are much less favourable than for the previous film. BOO!

I am incredibly excited to finally get my eyeballs set on this surreal meta masterpiece otherwise known as the best film of 2015 so far. To clarify; I haven’t seen it but am raising my expectations to a level the film can never possibly meet.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a man who spots his double in a film and seeks out the man who shares his face in this wonderfully tense and surreal drama. While Ayoade’s The Double was a frenetic Gilliam-esque triumph Enemy is much more grounded and all the more affecting for it.

Dying of the Light
Liam Neeson must have been busy as Nicolas Cage plays a CIA agent suffering from a fatal disease who goes rogue to track down a terrorist.

*Note how grown up I am being by not using a picture of Jones or using any exclamation marks after her name.