Eddie Redmayne did a great job in "TOE"
The Theory of Everything (2014) is coming to the Czech movie theaters this week. Those of us who have mastered the space and time have already seen the picture. The touching film is based on "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen" by Jane Wilde Hawking, the famous physicist's first wife, which is a reason to expect fewer path integrals and more of the social stuff.
Even Stephen Hawking himself has pointed out that Eddie Redmayne was almost as handsome as himself (Hawking) so you shouldn't be surprised that this actor added the Oscar for the "best actor" last night, next to his Golden Globe for the "best actor" as well similar awards from SAG and BAFTA.
In this way, Redmayne almost became more famous than Hawking himself for a while. Before I would allow something like that, I would carefully test Redmayne's abilities to compute path integrals and emitted radiation within quantum field theory on curved backgrounds. Would he continue to be as great as Hawking himself?
The $15 million budget movie has earned $100+ million so far, not bad, and I must say that this success is impressive for the writer of the book, Jane Hawking herself. In some sense, you could say that the first woman who marries a young Stephen Hawking is a "random educated woman" and the random educated woman's ability to write a book that produces a $100 million box office movie seems like a coincidence. Well, I admit that the fact that she has a famous man to write about may have helped, too.
Stephen and Jane meet during a party and they fall in love, and after he loses his balance for the first time, they quickly learn that he has a serious disease. (A former boyish and corrupt Czech prime minister Stanislav Gross has the same disease, and so does Marián Čišovský, a Slovak player in FC Viktoria Pilsen, Czechia.) The prognosis doesn't seem good.
Even though she is told that he won't live for more than a few years, she marries him, while his disease is getting worse at the same time when Hawking is completing his most famous discoveries. They have a son and lots of other things in their family life are shown in detail.
Sometimes the plot runs into other physicists such as Dennis Sciama, a supervisor of Hawking's, and Roger Penrose. You may hear several pretty much correct claims about physics of the Hawking radiation and other things – but they're clearly not the focus of the movie.
Concerning Hawking's having babies, you may learn some biology from the film, too. A friend asks Hawking whether – because of the limited propagation of signals in the nerves – he can do, you know what, and Hawking answers that Yes, he can because those things are connected to a "different system". ;-)
Felicity Jones stars as Jane Hawking. Well, I would say that she is (even?) more beautiful than the original Jane Hawking, I hope it's OK to express this opinion (actors are often idealized in this way, aren't they?).
Stephen gets his wheelchair and later the electronic voice (that speaks in the U.S. English).
Jane meets Jonathan, a widower, who teaches Hawking Jr to play the piano but it's clear that this family friend's relationship to Jane is more important than his relationship to Stephen Hawking. (We only learn that Jane and Jonathan got married later when the movie is almost over.) And they also hire Elaine, a helper, who was going to become Hawking's second wife.
That second marriage didn't work too well. But I think that we may trust the movie that Elaine was doing things that were more sexually exciting for Stephen than what he was getting from Jane. She (Elaine) was going to abuse him, too. But the movie mostly shows all the pure things in Hawking's love life.
That doesn't mean that I think that the movie distorts the reality. As far as I can say, it's essentially accurate. Jane's and Stephen's marriage didn't last indefinitely, so it wasn't the neverending love from the fairy-tales as the beginning of the movie would suggest. But the whole movie doesn't really claim otherwise!
And is it so terrible that they later divorced? I am not sure. The divorce had several reasons. But I think that it's likely and understandable that when Jane Hawking was getting married, she was "more than prepared" to expect that her nontrivial life with a physically restricted husband whom she loved would only last for a short time. To extend the plans by more than one order of magnitude may be hard.
The movie is no science-fiction picture, of course, it is a romantic movie. But science and fantasy do enrich the plot at several places. Jane's and Stephen's audience with the queen is one of the happy successes of their life together. And during a lecture, Stephen dreams about the analogy between the evolution of the Universe from the big bang and the evolution of their life since he and Jane met.
"The Theory of Everything" is a romantic film recorded in three listed languages, English, French, and Latin, and the last one is pretty cool.