Film Review: The Theory of Everything

by DerdriuMarriner

The biopic The Theory of Everything approaches the world-loved theoretical physicist that he becomes by way of Stephen Hawking's personal, professional, and romantic attachments.

Mathematics, skies, and stars get young Stephen's attention

Viewers access biography, drama, and romance in the biopic The Theory of Everything. The film becomes one of 2014’s year-end movies, with North American releases of:
• September 7 in Canada;
• October 9 in the United States; and
• October 18 in Mexico.

It considers the first quarter century in the adult life of Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born January 8, 1942), as:
• native son of Oxford, England;
• oldest child of University of Oxford-educated parents, medical research-employed Frank (May 18, 1905 – March 4, 1986) and interdisciplinary PPE (philosophy, politics and economics) degree-minded Isobel (March 3, 1915 – April 6, 2013); and
• student of astro-physics with University of Cambridge physicist Dennis Sciama (November 18, 1926 – December 18, 1999).




Eddie Redmayne received an Academy Award (Oscar) as Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything."

The 87th Oscars, held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre(r) at Hollywood & Highland Center
The 87th Oscars, held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre(r) at Hollywood & Highland Center

Numbers help at Byron House and St. Alban's


Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) devotes an hour a day to studies outside graduate physics classes with Dennis (David Thewlis) since other priorities include:

  • bar-hopping with colleagues;
  • bicycling along cobbled streets;
  • going rowing; and
  • listening to Richard Wagner’s (May 22, 1813 – February 13, 1883) non-operatic music.

He therefore emerges as a collector of charmingly obscure facts, such as the May Ball’s ultra-violet lighting enhancing Tide detergent’s fluorescent effects upon bowties and shirtfronts. He finds himself reconciling super-socializing and under-studying -- by answering nine of ten questions which nobody else solves -- until a number of falls gets the twenty-one-year old diagnosed in 1963 with Lou Gehrig’s (Henry Louis Gehrig, June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease.  


The exquisite value of looking up: Stephen Hawking has long scanned the cosmos for answers, humor, inspiration, and questions.

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking

Physics is a career choice because of scholarships


The doctor (Adam Godley) gives Stephen a life expectancy of two more years. He holds up an all too brief future marred by complete loss of communication and motor skills even though the ability to think remains. Stephen is determined to beat the odds, by:

  • getting married to Westfield College student Beryl Jane Wilde (born March 29, 1944), July 16, 1965 – May 22, 1991, and home health nurse Elaine Mason, May 22, 1995 – May 22, 2006;
  • having children (Robert [born May 28, 1967], Catherine Lucy [born November 2, 1970], Timothy [born April 1979]);
  • incorporating mathematical physicist Roger Penrose’s (born August 8, 1931) black hole researches into a doctoral dissertation; and
  • working as professor, researcher, theorist, and writer. 


Stephen Hawking in zero gravity during flight aboard Boeing 727 aircraft owned by Zero Gravity Corporation:

Peter Diamandis (right), Zero G Corp founder, and Byron Lichtenberg (left), formerly shuttle payload specialist, now Zero G Corp president, aerially rotate Stephen Hawking, with Stephen's aide Nicola O'Brien as spotter.
Photo credit: Jim Campbell, Aero-News Network; for release on 04/26/2007
Photo credit: Jim Campbell, Aero-News Network; for release on 04/26/2007

Questions jostle observations and theories in Stephen's world


Bangs, crunches, and rips; boundaries and boundlessness; bodies and particles; and holes and singularities jumpstart Stephen’s theories. Stephen keeps theorizing despite:

  • being wheelchair-bound, 1969-;
  • getting tracheotomized in Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital May 22, 1985; and
  • using computer engineer Walt Woltosz’s Equalizer and Words+ software-programmed speech-generators.

He lives happily despite Jane’s and choir-directing, piano-teaching Jonathan Hellyer Jones’s (born 1951), a leukemia patient’s widower, 1976-, involvement of December 1977-.

So The Theory of Everything makes Stephen Hawking’s charming genius available, through:

  • Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, producers;
  • Benoît Delhomme, cinematographer;
  • Focus Features and Universal Pictures, distribution companies;
  • Jinx Godfrey, film editor;
  • Jóhann Jóhannson, music director;
  • James Marsh, director;
  • Anthony McCarten, producer/screenwriter; and
  • StudioCanal and Working Title Films, production companies. 


The Theory of Everything - Official Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD

Published on Aug 6, 2014 by Universal Pictures UK ~ URL:



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources. 


The Theory of Everything ~ Amazon Instant Video: Rent or Buy with 1-Click®

Stephen Hawking films

The Theory of Everything ~ (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet) ~ available via Amazon

Stephen Hawking films

Sources Consulted


“Frank Hawking.” Los Angeles, CA: MyHeritage Ltd. Retrieved April 3, 2015.

  • Available at: 

Hawking, Stephen. 1993. Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hawking, Stephen. 1998. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hawking, Stephen. 2005. A Briefer History of Time. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hawking, Stephen. 2011. The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The Most Astounding Papers on Quantum Physics And How They Shook the Scientific World. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press.

Hawking, Stephen. 2002. The Future of Spacetime. New York, NY: Norton.

Hawking, Stephen. 2010. The Grand Design. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hawking, Stephen. Hawking. Public Broadcasting Service. Re-aired July 18, 2014.

Hawking, Stephen. 1996. The Illustrated A Brief History of Time. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hawking, Stephen. 2004. The Illustrated On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press.

Hawking, Stephen W. 2009. The Illustrated Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe. Beverly Hills, CA: Phoenix Books. 

Hawking, Stephen. 2011. Into the Universe. Boulder, CO: Gaiam.

Hawking, Stephen. 2013. My Brief History. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hawking, Stephen (Editor). 2007. A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion: The Essential Scientific Writings of Albert Einstein. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press.

Hawking, Stephen. 2001. Theories of the Universe. St. Paul, MN: HighBridge Co.

Hawking, Stephen. 2002. The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe. Beverly Hills, CA: New Millennium Press.

Hawking, Stephen. 2001. The Universe in a Nutshell. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hawking, Stephen; and Penrose, Roger. 2010. The Nature of Space and Time. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 


Stephen Hawking's post on Facebook on February 23, 2015 at 2:39 p.m.:

"Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne for winning an #Oscar for playing me in The Theory of Everything. Well done Eddie, I'm very proud of you."
Stephen Hawking Congratulating Eddie Redmayne On Facebook
Stephen Hawking Congratulating Eddie Redmayne On Facebook
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

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The Theory of Everything: lamina framed poster ~ available via AllPosters

The Theory Of Everything

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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 07/06/2015, DerdriuMarriner
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


DerdriuMarriner on 05/26/2015

happynutritionist, Me, too, I usually prefer personal environments for movie watching rather than theatres. It may often mean that I see movies long after their premieres, but the wait is usually worthwhile.
"The Theory of Everything" is well worth watching.

happynutritionist on 05/25/2015

My husband and I rarely go to the movies, and usually wait until movies are available streaming, and occasionally on DVD. This is definitely one we will be seeing. Great review!

DerdriuMarriner on 05/19/2015

sheilamarie, It's inspiring and a wonderful tribute to Stephen Hawking's brilliance and resilience as well as to Eddie Redmayne's ability to capture and convey Stephen Hawking's personableness. It's a film which I expect to view again and again.

sheilamarie on 05/19/2015

I have yet to see this film. Thanks for reminding me of it.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/06/2015

Mira, Stephen Hawking comes across as a wonderful role model in his life, so it's great that the film captures his indomitable spirit. He lives up to his observation that "While there's life, there is hope."
Eddie Redmayne seems such an excellent choice to portray Stephen Hawking. It's an honor that he garnered the Academy Award and also that Stephen Hawking posted such high compliments.

Mira on 04/06/2015

I love that poster. I haven't seen it before. And yes, the film was wonderful. Hard to say that about such a tragedy, but they managed to make it very uplifting and humane, and it felt great to see that he had beat the odds to such an extent, had three children, and so on. I'm glad Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar. Felicity Jones was pretty good too.

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