“The Theory of Everything” is a by the numbers biopic

The theory of everything02
Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in “The Theary of Everything”. Foto by Liam Daniel © 2014 Focus Features

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here tends to be a formula for Academy Award caliber movies. Movies about bios that feature love stories and showy performances tend to lead the pack when it comes to awards season. Sometimes you get standard bearers of this rule like “A Beautiful Mind,” but other times you get films that play with themes conventions in a new way like “The Social Network.” “The Theory of Everything,” one of this year’s Best Picture nominees, unfortunately falls into the former category of these two types of Oscar nominees.

Directed by James Marsh, the film tells the story of Stephen Hawking and his courtship of his future wife Jane Wilde. You witness the trials and tribulations the couple goes through during their 30-year marriage including when she had to care for him when he was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease. As a person who did not know too much about Hawking before entering the theater, I found it fascinating the filmmakers took a closer look at his work of physics and thoughts on black holes. I can say this section interested me more than the black hole explanations in “Interstellar.”

While I found certain aspects of the film enjoyable, including Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones’ performances and Johan Johannsson’s score, the film comes across as a standard biopic. There is really nothing new here that adds to the genre, nor is it a boring film. The more interesting biopics tend to concentrate on a single event, as opposed to a sweeping epic of a person’s life. If “The Theory of Everything” just looked at Hawkings early years, it would have been a more exciting film and a deserving Best Picture nominee.

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