This movie has terrific acting and wonderful cinematography and is just pretty to watch, but I do not think there is any way in the world I would ever recommend anyone to waste their money on this. ***CAUTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!***
There is good to this movie. Eddie Redmayne is absolutely brilliant. Watching this movie really in a lot of ways felt like you were watching the struggles of someone with ALS as they gradually got worse. I was immersed in his story and his ability to bring a very difficult disease to life. You really do get the struggles of a wife going through this with her husband in Felicity Jones. It was the strong female role that everyone would have hoped for.
The cinematography was outstanding. They were able to create a world from the 1960s and do so in a way that was visually beautiful. The movie made you feel like you were roaming the halls of Cambridge’s campus. It painted the 1960’s and 1970’s in such a way that you thought you had stepped back in time for a moment.
The editing was truly brilliant. It went through the history of this young couple’s life as they dealt with the heartbreak of disease, the celebrations of a doctorate and children, and then led you through the depression of facing the reality that ALS will always win. It did so without providing cliches nor did it use flashbacks as its main go between. It was truly well put together.
For all of this achievement and strong acting, the story just was so off putting that I can not for the life of me figure out why someone would want to bring their self to watch it. It is in its purest form the sweetest most beautiful love story of someone cheating on the most famous ALS patient since Lou Gehrig.
The first hour of this movie is truly a love inspiring story, but then as Hawking grows worse, he and his wife become less and less inclined to continue. It is clear of what is happening throughout the whole story. Then the second half of the movie starts and she begins a slowly developing romance with the man they agree to come and help with the family. If this is not enough, it portrays the reason that Hawking continued living past a bout of pneumonia as guilt.
That’s right, guilt. The movie left me looking at Jane Hawking as if the only reason she made sure she was still alive was because she just left the embraces of the man she is now in love with.
I have never been mortified in a movie in my whole life. However, to cap the whole thing off after they have divorced, Stephen brings everyone together when they go meet the Queen and they have this most cliche moment ever when they look down on their children and Hawking looks at her lovingly and says “We made this.” This is supposed to be the defining scene. The moment we look at and cherish from the movie. However, after everything has run its course, it just feels forced.
In the long run, what was a beautiful movie was ruined by the inescapable fact that this is the sweetest love story ever told of someone cheating on an ALS patient. Keeping in mind that this is all based on a book written by Jane, this is not to be viewed as shocking really, but it is enough for me to just ponder why this really is getting the love it is getting.