The Morning After: Feb. 16, 2015

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

The Theory of Everything

The story of Stephen Hawking’s college and post-doctoral life is explored in The Theory of Everything, an adaptation of his ex-wife’s novel about their life together. Eddie Redmayne stars as Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane.

Redmayne blends into the Hawking character with surprising ease for the young actor. This is a nice step in the right direction for the thespian whose work in Les Misérables was unfortunately overlooked. Jones also doe fine work as his dedicated wife, but the film in which they star is a stylistically simplistic, visually tedious and emotionally starved bit of traditional storytelling.

The screenplay, by Anthony McCarten, is well researched, but lacks any depth or insight into the life of Hawking other than superficial observations. That the audience struggles to become attached to these characters emotionally is partly a screenwriting problem and partly a weakness of the director, James Marsh. Marsh doesn’t strive for anything revelatory in his approach to storytelling or filmmaking, which makes for a very long endeavor. While the film isn’t bad, it’s not nearly as brilliant as it could have been.

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