Eddie Redmayne (Les Misérables) will be a serious contender for Best Actor. Redmayne gives a bravura performance that demands extreme physicality and expressiveness. His Hawking is so chilling and exact that the physicist commented in an Email to the director and screenwriter that he felt he was watching himself. And, his approval of the script resulted in allowing the filmmakers to use his mechanized voice after a tracheotomy was performed in 1985. Jane is played by the always dependable Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) whose acting is subtle and less ostentatious - but equally impressive. The brilliant Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (who also composed the haunting score for Foxcatcher) has added a sweeping score that is both memorable and melodic without overwhelming the visuals.
Marsh is able to transform a potentially depressing story of a brilliant genius who overcame physical and emotional limitations into a crowd-pleasing love story that will definitely have you leaving the theater feeling uplifted and positive.
UPCOMING NEXT WEEK: Review of "Timbuktu" (Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language Film) and my annual Academy Awards Thoughts/Predictions column to be posted Friday, February 20th