If Eddie Redmayne does not win the Best Actor Oscar, it’ll be a shame. His portrayal of Stephen Hawking is one for the ages. What makes his performance so remarkable is that Hawking was a normal — if brilliant — walking, talking, athletic, and romantic guy — until his disease struck. And the disease worked progressively. Redmayne’s ability to track the gradual development of the effects of the disease while delivering a dead-on characterization of Hawking is remarkable, a sight to see and The Theory of Everything’s greatest strength.
Extraordinary was Redmayne’s performance, but the movie less so. The performances besides Redmayne’s are all excellent, but the filmmakers were unable to articulate its material into the great film for the ages it might have been. There’s too much yippity-yap attempting to explain Hawking’s science in an unsatisfactory, overly lay and cutesy manner. However, the focus is, smartly, squarely on the personal life of Hawking and his wife. The deficiencies on Hawking’s professional side detract from the film, but hardly enough to ruin it. Overall very good. 8/10