Based on the memoir of Jane Wilde Hawking, this big screen adaptation of the relationship between Jane (Felicity Jones) and noted theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is as beautiful a love story as you could ever hope to see. Obviously a movie about Stephen Hawking will include his scientific theories and how important his work is to him but for the most part, this is a love story.
The film opens as they meet at a student party at Cambridge. She is studying in the Arts and he is, as we all know, a genius in waiting studying Science. He is yet to be diagnosed with the devastating motor neurone disease (ALS) as they embark on a tender romance that is so sweet and polite in that old-fashioned, very British manner that it (almost) made me believe in love again.
By the time Stephen is diagnosed with ALS and given just 2 years to live, they are already in love and it is here Jane displays a spine of solid steel that will see them both through some very, very difficult times.
Stephen and Jane marry and begin a family with Stephen continuing his work. As his theories develop and he immerses himself further and further into his work, it is up to Jane to keep the family together and moving forward. Stephen’s disease also progresses and again, it is Jane who bears the brunt of it all.
This movie is just wonderful and in case you have been living under a rock, has won a slew of major awards including the Best Actor Oscar, BAFTA, AFI and SAG awards for Redmayne who transforms himself almost beyond recognition. I have long been a Redmayne fan, first taking note way back in 2010 when he starred in the mini series Pillars of the Earth. I am pleased the rest of the world has finally caught up.
Jones, who was also nominated for many awards this year, is breathtaking in a role that has no doubt cemented her place as a young actress to watch.
It is a smart and poignant drama that never allows itself to become anything other than what it is…. a story about the love between two people who did all they could to stay in love. Sadly, it was not to be yet Stephen is no saint and Jane is no sinner. There is no blame laid for the breakdown of the marriage, it is what it is. Stephen continues to defies the odds given to him all those years ago and today he shares a close friendship with Jane.
In its final weeks at the cinemas, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I suggest you do it soon before it closes.
4 1/2 stars
Love Flick xx
Director : James Marsh
Starring : Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Harry Lloyd, Alice Orr-Ewing, David Thewlis, Michael Marcus, Gruffudd Glyn, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, Thimas Morrison
Running Time : 123 minutes
Release Date : 29 January 2015