An unusual point of view prevents this from ever turning into the standard biopic, but it's Eddie Redmayne's staggeringly committed performance as Stephen Hawking that makes the film unmissable. Based on the book by Stephen's wife Jane Hawking, the film uses her perspective to recount the events with their relationship firmly at the centre, which adds a personal angle the audience can engage with. This diverts the attention from Hawking's scientific breakthroughs, but makes the film both energetic and emotionally riveting.
It opens in 1963 when Stephen (Redmayne) is a rising-star at Cambridge, already a genius who thinks far outside the box. But he also has a sharp sense of humour, which makes it easy to see what Jane (Felicity Jones) sees in this brainy black-hole-obsessed geek. Then just as their relationship begins to get serious, he is diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given two years to live. Instead of giving up, Jane marries him and has three kids as Stephen defies the doctor's prognosis. As his physical condition deteriorates, they get help from two people who become unexpectedly close: widowed choir director Jonathan (Charlie Cox) and medical assistant Elaine (Maxine Peake). And even as their marriage comes apart under the pressure, Jane and Stephen remain deeply connected to each other.
Anthony McCarten's script cleverly lets big ideas swirl around each scene without swamping the more human story. The central factor in Stephen and Jane's interaction centres on faith: his in science, hers in God. Stephen continues to seek a theory that will scientifically explain the nature of existence, while Jane catches him out when he takes a leap of faith himself. And the film lets all of this play out through their interaction with a variety of terrific side characters, including Stephen's tutor (David Thewlis), his colleagues (Harry Lloyd and Enzo Cilenti), his father (Simon McBurney) and Jane's mother (Emily Watson). Each performance is packed with telling nuance, while Jones gives the film a textured heart and soul.
Continue reading: The Theory of Everything Review
Sienna Guillory and Enzo Cilenti - Photographs of a host of stars as they arrived for the Moet British Independent Film Awards which were held at the Old Billingsgate in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 7th December 2014
That little inconsistency is only the first of hundreds you'll find in this virtually unseen flick, which features some engaging characters and performances but blows it all with a script that alternates between illogical and just plain dumb.
Continue reading: Late Night Shopping Review
Director Danny Boyle is known for wildly imaginative visualsin innovative, gritty-cool movies about murderers ("Shallow Grave"),junkies ("Trainspotting")and zombies ("28 Days Later"), so what's he doing makinga sweet, sentimental kids' movie? Virtually reinventing another genre,of course.
In "Millions," an angel-faced 7-year-old Irishboy named Damian (Alexander Nathan Etel) finds a duffle bag full of bankrobbery loot, but thanks to his youthful naivete, his faith in saints thatwatch over him, his run-away imagination and the fact that the bag literallyfell from the sky, he assumes the booty is a gift from God.
"Who else has that kind of money?" he asks innocentlyof his more practical 9-year-old brother, who wants to keep the discoveryhush-hush and invest in real estate. But altruistic Damian sets about ona mission: He resolves to help the poor, excitedly buying pizza for homelessteenagers, secretly stuffing cash in the mailbox of austere-living Mormonneighbors, and anonymously donating £1,000 to an African charity fund atschool.
Continue reading: Millions Review