The Theory of Everything (2014)

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Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Friday 16 October, 3.45pm and 8pm

Eddie Redmayne as Cambridge graduate Stephen Hawking, undecided in 1963 about the subject of his PhD thesis. Give him time. Supportive professor David Thewlis recognises the promise in Hawking’s deceptively unfocused mind. Felicity Jones (as romantic poetry student Jane Wilde, aka the future Mrs Hawking) falls for the skittish Hawking under the night sky.

He’d introduced himself to her as a cosmologist:“A kind of religion for intelligent atheists.” His holy grail is a single unifying equation that will explain everything in the universe.The universal irony is that his is a brilliant mind in a failing body.The onset of motor neurone disease – average life expectancy, two years – doesn’t deter Jane from standing by her stricken man.

Besides,there’s nothing avaerage about Hawking. Of course he defied all expectations. Fate’s fickle finger may have decimated his digits and everything they’re attached to. But his brain remains unaffected. His second favourite organ, too, because he has three children with Jane.“Different system,” he tells his old friend Harry Lloyd, “automatic.”Who instantly surmises this explains a lot about men.

Everything else wastes away, including his voice. Which will still be heard, around the world, from Star Trek to The Simpsons. Thanks in large part to Anthony McCarten’s pithy script, Man on Wire director James Marsh is able to skilfully skirt most of the clichés of prestige film making(Johann Johannsson’s music is so blandly soothing, I’d mistakenly assumed it was by Alexandre Desplat).

Benedict Cumber batch’s Hawking(2004) was a story of discovery. Eddie Redmayne’s is a love storyabout the nature of time. It’s a very English affair, amusing and self-deprecating, with reams of umming and erring dialogue. “We’re a normal family,” says Hawking, poignantly. Yet they only look like that when the handsome young widower who runs the local church choir drives Jane and the children to Bordeaux.

Hawking has little time for God but bows to the Queen (although he did decline a knighthood, to be fair).He also loves Wagner. Nobody’s perfect. But Redmayne’s extraordinary performance comes as close to perfection as is humanly possible.

Certificate: 12

Duration: 124min

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Other Showings Time & Date
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 17 October at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 17 October at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 18 October at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 18 October at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 19 October at 2:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 19 October at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 20 October at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 20 October at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 21 October at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 21 October at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 22 October at 3:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 22 October at 8:00PM