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"The Theory of Everything" Review

I hated The Theory of Everything. Period. It perfectly encapsulates the raging mediocrity which garners awards love because of everything it is other than actually being good. Ooooh, it's historical, it has a crippled lead character, and it's English, oh gawd, it's English and we all know British movies are inherently superior to the crap redneck Muricans like. That's why we tell everyone we watch Downton Abbey when we're really watching The Walking Dead.

There is so little of substance to The Theory of Everything that I really fear for the mental well-being of those who say they enjoyed it. How little? Here is the entire plot: Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is a Ph.D. candidate at Cambridge who meets Judy (Felicity Jones), who falls so deeply in love for some reason that even his diagnosis with ALS with a two-year life expectancy (Hawking is still alive, 52 years later) doesn't scare her off. They marry and have children even has he degenerates into a gnarled mess. She meets a nice church choir director (Charlie Cox, the new Daredevil in the upcoming Netflix series) who volunteers to be an aide to the family. Hawking pretty much gives Judy permission to shag this bloke, but she doesn't until later when Hawking dumps her to roll off with his nurse. What a guy.

There's a little talk of science and whether his theories eliminate the possibility of a Creator, but rather than discuss the lack of science in a movie about a scientist, they should've discussed the lack of substance on the script's pages. We never know what Jane sees in Hawking and when you're dealing with such a seriously crippled person - a megawatt mind trapped in a dead bulb body - this lack of initial connection makes all that follows it unengaging. When she turns up pregnant with her 3rd child, it briefly hints that the choir guy is the baby daddy, but that's slapped down; apparently she was true to her husband until he dumped her, which makes her sticking around even more sad.

Redmayne is heavily favored to win Best Actor and frankly I'm not cool with that. I've long been annoyed by Oscar's habit lately of awarding portrayals of real people because it frequently comes down to hair, makeup and mimicry more than creating a character from the ether. All but one of this year's nominees are for real people and that's just pathetic. While Redmayne does a fine job contorting himself into a twisted slurring knot with the aid of makeup, doing most of the acting with his eyes, his pre-illness character was little more than a goofy grin and lopsided eyeglasses. Sorry, Eddie, but Daniel Day-Lewis did it better in My Left Foot. Jones is up for Best Actress and I have no idea why because all she does is be stoic.

The Theory of Everything also continues the maddening practice of not telling the audience what effing year it is as if we're supposed to know how time has progressed by how large the children are or something. (American Sniper did this as well, telling what tour it was, but not what year.) It starts in 1963 and that's the last we're told. A Brief History of Time came out in 1988 and he dumped Jane in 1995 after 30 years of putting up with his illness, but you'll never know from the movie or the happyish ending they give his life story.

At the end of two pointless hours, The Theory of Everything is really The Movie About Nothing.

Score: 3/10. Skip it.


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