The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

Film Reviews: The Theory of Everything (2014) & The Imitation Game (2014)

The Theory of Everything (2014). Based on the memoir by Jane Wilde Hawking and directed by James Marsh. Initially set in 1963 at Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is at a party. The shy Hawking spots another student, Jane Wilde, and rather clumsily introduces himself. The Theory of Everything tells Stephen Hawking's story from 1963 to the mid 80s, when he was awarded a CBE. It's more of a reflection on his life than a science tale, although there are a handful of scientific mentions, along with when he publishes A Brief History of Time. Redmayne does an incredible job of capturing Hawking's transformation, due to suffering motor neurone disease which is diagnosed while he is at university. Overall it's an incredible and of course genuine tale of someone overcoming terrible adversity, and yet still having a sense of humour at the end of it all. The only two disappointments I had with the film were the lack of science and that it covered just a part of Hawking's life. Although it would have been near impossible to do the rest justice without this turning into a TV series. Recommended for any biopic fan. 4/5 (Good)

The Imitation Game (2014). Based on the biography by Andrew Hodges and directed by Morten Tyldum. The film is initially set in Manchester in 1951, when Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) was arrested for homosexuality. The story then jumps to a slightly earlier point where he is arrested, and then further back to 1939 during the Second World War. Much like The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game is an incredible story of a genius and his life struggles. Much of this is tempered though by a lot of inaccuracies in the film's dramatisation that exaggerate Turing's role and struggles. This was a sad discovery, and I recommend anyone who has watched the film to go and look up the facts at the film's Wiki page. Cumberbatch is inevitably excellent as Turing, with a reasonable supporting cast. Overall taking the film at face value it's as entertaining, if that's a fair way to describe the source material. Recommended for those who don't mind the inaccuracies, but I'd still recommend reading about them after watching. 4/5 (Good)
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