The Theory of Everything opens in New York City and Los Angeles today. The film expands in subsequent weeks, opening in Chicago on November 14, 2014.
Reconciling reality and expectation is tricky business in the art of film criticism, particularly when confronted with preconceived reservations of genre and awards buzz. So, settling into James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, a biopic about eminent theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, it takes some effort to disengage from what I believe the film should be and what the film is. What the film is not is a salient analysis of Hawking’s theories and research. Rather, The Theory of Everything is a traditional greatest-hits picture that looks into Hawking’s first marriage while he combats his rapid physical decay. Parlaying much of the headiness of Hawking’s theories for something broader and emotionally poignant, Marsh infuses a measure of formal and thematic nuance in material that would have otherwise been construed as trite. The Theory of Everything, with all of its sentimental trappings and matrimonial cacophony, may not be the sort of film one would associate with its subject; to put it lightly, it’s slight.Read More