Cambridge, England, 1963, Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) meets Jane (Felicity Jones) and a spark ignites as she hands him her phone number on a napkin. He is studying physics at the university whereas Jane is studying art. As the romance begins to blossom Stephen begins to notice some issues with his balance and coordination. Soon thereafter in the midst of their relationship Stephen is diagnosed with motor neuron disease, a muscular decaying illness that would leave him dead within two years’ time.
The story at this point picks up pace as they quickly take the audience through the next few years. Jane says I love you and would never leave him no matter how much time he has on earth. They marry, have a child and Stephen gets his first electric wheel chair as well as eventually a second child. His PHD theory that the universe had a beginning he later in life disproves it stating now that the universe has no boundaries.
Jane has taken on more than she can handle as Stephen’s health deteriorates. He has lived well past the two years expected so Jane has sought the help and companionship of Jonathan (Charlie Cox), from the church choir, to assist in raising the children, now three and in caring for Stephen, one of the most brilliant minds in science. After Stephen slips into a coma but eventually rises from it the family brings in Elaine (Maxine Peake), a home nurse, to help care for Stephen. Yet through the years of marriage between Stephen and Jane, an open and emotional relationship begins with Jane and Jonathan and Stephen and Elaine which seems to work within their own family boundaries.
When Stephen is later given a voice again he soon works on and publishes “A Brief History of Time”, from the big bang to black holes. Yet while there is life there is hope and Stephen has one extraordinary life. At the age of seventy two and ten million copies sold Stephen is still the most brilliant of minds even with three grandchildren.
There are moments that the film tends to move slowly but overall I thought it was a very well-directed and written story. A wonderful score and some beautiful scenery all contributes to this film. Redmayne is brilliant and worthy of an Oscar nod and Jones keeps up with him well, making their on screen relationship superb. Peake is a delight on the screen and Cox is a welcome addition adding a bit of life and happiness into an otherwise dramatic yet romantic story. Overall this film may not appeal to all but it will surely appeal to the intellectual movie goers out for a piece of history, education and romance all wrapped into one. Written and enjoyed with three paws out of four by Jon Patch.