Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Theory of Everything Review

As you all should know, I am a big fan of Oscar season. While some people scoff at the Oscars for rarely nominating the big blockbusters, I'm personally a fan because a lot of the movies that do get nominated are in fact excellent movies. As a fan of movies, I just like watching a good movie regardless of how much money it makes or how many awards it gets, so I choose not to take sides in that war. What I do get frustrated with is this tactic of releasing these award-contending movies in as few theaters as possible and slowly expanding outwards. I mean, I understand the tactic. I just don't like having to wait a long time for the movie to finally get to my town after reading or watching reviews saying how awesome it is by the privileged people who got to see it really early. First world problems, right? Anywho, this is the reason why oftentimes I get more excited when the small movies finally get to me as opposed to the larger movies that come exactly when they say they will. Long story short, The Theory of Everything finally came to a theater near me after several weeks and months of anticipation. And now you're getting my review of it.

If you haven't yet heard about The Theory of Everything, it's a biopic of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. If you're not in tune at all to the science world and don't recognize that name right when I say it, a light bulb should come on when I tell you that he is the guy in the wheelchair with the computerized voice. He got put in that wheelchair with that computer as his voice because he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease.What's motor neuron disease? Well, that's a general category in which belongs the disease ALS, which you all know about because everyone in the world dumped buckets of ice water on their heads to raise awareness for this disease this summer. It was shortly after his 21st birthday when Stephen was diagnosed and given two years to live. Well, you know how that ended because he's still alive right now at the age of 72. This movie is about his journey and struggles with that disease and trying to figure out how to balance his love life and career. And as we see in the trailer, his wife is going to be there with him as they fight the disease and work things out.

Perfect recipe for this super emotional, touching, and inspiring movie that you make you leave the theaters wishing you had brought your tissue box with you, right? Meh. Kinda. My biggest problem with this movie is that I wasn't actually sure what emotion I was supposed to be feeling as I finished the movie. Not that what happens in the movie is a huge secret because you can look up what happens to Stephen in his life with a quick google search, but nevertheless I'm not going to go into a whole ton of detail. However, I will say that this is not exactly your cookie-cutter inspirational story. Yes I think the fact that Stephen has lived for 50 years when he was supposed to only live two is very inspirational. I feel bad that he's had to suffer like this his whole life with ALS, but there's a few things that happen in his personal life that make you raise your eyebrow a bit. But he's not the only guilty party. His wife also does things that make you not a big fan of her. I guess you can call this life. Life is not always a fairy tale. But still. As a movie there were a lot of things that didn't sit too well with me and thus is why I had a whole ton of mixed emotions as I left the theater.

That said, I can't deny the fact that the acting in this is pretty dang good. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are two names that you may have never heard before. They aren't unknown names. Redmayne played Marius in the recent Les Mis movie, while Jones played Felicia in the most recent Spider-Man movie. But outside those roles, there's not a whole ton on their resume that would be considered extremely recognizable. However, they have now earned the right for you to remember their names as I'm sure this movie will be a springboard to a whole bunch of new roles for both of them. Both are to be considered near locks to get Oscar nominations. That I'm a bit split on. While they definitely do an amazing job, is it an Oscar-worthy performance? Specifically looking at Redmayne, he does great as Stephen Hawking. But I can name a handful of people that I would rather see get the nomination for best actor over him. Bill Murray and Jake Gyllenhaal top that list right now of actors that deserve a nomination but will be left out because the Academy chose Redmayne instead. That might make me upset. Just warning you. On the other hand, I was totally in love with Felicity in this movie as an actress. I wasn't a huge fan of what her character did, but she was great nonetheless. I definitely want to see more of her. In fact, I may be fine with her being Spider-Man's new girlfriend if everything doesn't collapse on Sony.

I feel I've been very negative with this review. However, this isn't a bad movie. It's just not quite what I was expecting. For one reason or another, I've never been a huge fan of Stephen Hawking. I was hoping this movie would shine more light on him for me, but it really didn't. I'm still not a huge fan of Stephen Hawking. However, if you are curious to know more of this story, I'd recommend you give this a shot. Stephen Hawking himself watched the movie and actually cried while watching it, referring to it as "generally true." He then gave them the right to use his voice in the movie. I personally piece that all together and call it an accurate representation of his life. It's also very well acted, which is a must for a good biopic. Not my favorite movie of the year. But if it shows up in your local theater and you have nothing else to see, I'd recommend you give it a shot. My grade for The Theory of Everything is a 7.5/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment