In 1963, Cambridge University astrophysics student Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) begins a relationship with literature student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). Although Stephen excels at mathematics and physics, his friends and professors are concerned over his lack of a thesis topic. After Stephen and his professor Dennis Sciama (David Thewlis) attend a lecture on black holes, Stephen speculates that black holes may have been part of the creation of the universe and decides to write his thesis on time.
While pursuing his research, Stephen's muscles begin to fail, eventually causing him to fall and hit his head. He learns he has motor neurone disease; he will be unable to talk, swallow, breathe or move most of his body, and has approximately two years to live. Stephen asks what will happen to his brain. The doctor tells Stephen that the disease doesn't affect the brain and that Stephen's thoughts won't change but eventually, no one will know what they are.
The Theory of Everything Trailer
Director & Cast
Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking
Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking
Charlie Cox as Jonathan Jones, Jane's second husband
Emily Watson as Beryl Wilde, Jane's mother
Simon McBurney as Frank Hawking, Stephen's father
David Thewlis as Dennis Sciama
Maxine Peake as Elaine Mason, Stephen's second wife
Harry Lloyd as Brian, Hawking’s roommate
Guy Oliver-Watts as George Wilde, Jane's father
Abigail Cruttenden as Isobel Hawking, Stephen's mother
Interview: Eddie Redmayne
Sense of purpose & achievement
Power of belief
The film traces two parallel narratives. In one, Hawking's body falls apart and so, eventually, does his marriage, for reasons that are partly philosophical—Hawking is an atheist, his wife a Christian—but mostly emotional. Wilde is overwhelmed by the physical demands of taking care of her husband and three (yes, three) children, and Hawking, at least initially, is not terribly sympathetic to her plight. They drift apart. She ends up with her church's choirmaster and he with Mason.
The other narrative traces Hawking's scientific career, as he explores the nature of time and space—and dreams of a single equation that will explain everything.
The film also evokes a profound paradox posed by modern science. Scientists have been astonishingly successful at mapping out and explaining reality, from the farthest reaches of space to the deepest recesses of matter. These successes have emboldened theorists such as Hawking to envision a "theory of everything" that solves the riddle of reality once and for all.
But this brilliant scientist is baffled—just like the rest of us--by matters of the heart, and so is science as a whole. Yes, science has solved many mysteries, but it remains largely clueless when it comes to the greatest mystery of all, humanity itself.