Formula for an Oscar in Hawking love story
IT'S hard to know where to stand on Eddie Redmayne. His youthful enthusiasm and bubbly style are just so annoying, but it can't be denied he's a fine actor.
So good, in fact, that his role as brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking here earned him an Oscar.
It opens with Hawking as a student at Cambridge University (cue stunning backdrops) and his blossoming relationship with literature student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). And it's the love story that takes centre stage - a bit too much at times - as Hawking's brilliant work on black holes, time and creation are relegated to the background.
That said, the two leads excel when the story takes a dark turn and Stephen's muscles begin to fail. Motor neurone disease (and a warning that he'll die within two years) are the grim prognosis.
But Jane won't let Stephen become a recluse, and professes her love for him and tells his father that they'll marry.
Two children later, and while physics isn't a problem, marital chemistry is, and Jane, feeling neglected, joins a church choir as an outlet.
It's there that she meets, and later falls in love with, widower Jonathan Hellyer Jones (Charlie Cox).
For a movie about a brilliant mind, we don't learn too much about Hawking's thoughts and ideas, and it's mainly a love story tied up with a sweet ending.
No classic, but still a must-see.