Eddie Redmayne delivers his finest performance to date as Stephen Hawking in biopic The Theory of Everything and could find himself up against fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) at the Oscars in 2015. The new movie is directed by James Marsh - who has previous at the Academy Awards thanks to his stunning documentary Man on Wire.

Eddie RedmayneEddie Redmayne [R] is now the second favorite to win Best Actor at the Oscars

The movie tells the story of Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. At the age of 21, Hawking - an active young man - was diagnosed with motor neuron disease though threw himself into his most ambitious scientific work, studying the theory of time. Together, he and Wilde defied impossible odds to break new ground in medicine and science.

More: Eddie Redmayne joins Oscars hunt with stunning 'The Theory of Everything'

"Redmayne uses his eyebrows, his mouth, a few facial muscles, and the fingers of one hand to suggest not only Hawking's intellect and his humor but also the calculating vanity of a great man entirely conscious of his effect on the world," wrote David Denby of the New Yorker.

"As the mathematical wunderkind who advanced a scientific theory beyond anyone's imagination, the great young actor Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn, Les Miserables), gives the most electrifying performance of the year," said Rex Reed of the New York Observer.

Eddie Redmayne Stephen HawkingThe Theory of Everything is out this Friday (November 7, 2014).

"The beautiful Jones seems limited in how deep she can burrow into Jane's frustration and sorrow. But then, anyone would be lost in Redmayne's wake," said Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News, to cap a trio of Gotham reviews.

"While possessing an outstanding performance by Eddie Redmayne in the role of the great theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, "The Theory of Everything" is formulaic to a fault," said Cole Smithey.

More: check out our Eddie Redmayne pictures

While the movie will struggle to win any of the major awards later this year and in early 2015, Redmayne is now the outright second favourite to win Best Actor at the Oscars. The bookmakers believe only Michael Keaton (Birdman) has a greater chance of success.

The Theory of Everything hits theaters in the U.S on Friday (November 7, 2014).

Watch the trailer for The Theory of Everything: