Eddie Redmanye is convincing as a disabled genius with an indomitable spirit in the first trailer for “The Theory of Everything,” released Wednesday by Focus Features.
It’s the story of world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who was wide-eyed and able-bodied when he studied at Cambridge over 50 years ago.
But Oscar-winning director James Marsh (“Man on Wire”) and writer Anthony McCarten focus less on Hawking’s scientific career than with his blossoming romance with coed Jane Wilde (played by Felicity Jones). Which makes sense, as the script is adapted from her memoirs.
“Science,” Hawking says, when he first meets Wilde’s gaze.
“Arts,” she replies. “The perfect couple.”
The characters are well on their way toward decades of inevitable bliss when Hawking stumbles in the university courtyard. A foreboding sign. He’s only 21 when he’s diagnosed with a fatal neurological condition: “It’s called motor neuron disease,” says a doctor. “Life expectancy is two years.”
“But I love him, he loves me,” says Jones with as much dramatic credibility as the dialogue allows her to muster. “We’re going to fight this.”
As his scientific career takes off, Hawking’s body begins to break down. Eventually he loses his voice, literally, and invents a digital speech program to communicate.
“But it’s American,” Jones says, upon first hearing her on-screen husband’s computer voice.
“The Theory of Everything,” which also stars Emily Watson and David Thewlis, premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 7 and enjoys a limited release Nov. 7.