×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toronto: ‘Theory of Everything’ Has the Right Formula for Oscars

Stephen Hawking drama, starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, gets splashy awards launch at festival

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones confidently enter the awards race with their new Stephen Hawking drama “The Theory of Everything.” The film, which premiered Sunday at the Toronto Film Festival, is already earning strong reviews and could score attention as a best picture contender and artisan categories, in addition to acting honors for Redmayne and Jones.

Based on the Jane Hawking memoir, “Theory” tells the story of Hawking (Redmayne) and his first wife (Jones), whose 25-year relationship began in the early 1960s.

It’s a classy piece from Focus Features and Working Title, directed by James Marsh (“Man on Wire”) and scripted by Anthony McCarten. All craft contributions are notable, including Johann Johannsson’s score and Benoit Delhomme’s cinematography.

Nothing is certain, though, since the fourth quarter has a lot of heavy-hitters coming up. But at this point,  it looks good for Focus, which smartly scored multiple Oscar noms last year with “Dallas Buyers Club,” including best picture.

Challenges: In many ways, “The Theory of Everything” is a formulaic triumph-over-adversity biopic. It offers reminders of “My Left Foot” and “Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (as Variety reviewer Justin Chang points out), with a little “Beautiful Mind” thrown in as well.

Assets: The tale may be familiar, but it works. The film touches on topics such as human resilience, God, time, love and thermodynamics. What’s not to like? And it has a great backstory, with Redmayne at the world premiere in Toronto talking about many months of meticulous research, which eventually paid off with the blessings of Jane and Stephen Hawking (whom everybody loves, even if they never read his book).

There are still a dozen big films that are unseen, but the best-picture race is starting to shape up. And, yes, with “The Imitation Game” and “Theory” are both in the game, meaning this could be the first year when the top race includes two biopics about British geniuses.

 

More Film

  • Fox Searchlight logo

    Film News Roundup: Fox Searchlight Launches Searchlight Shorts

    In today’s film news roundup, Fox Searchlight starts a shorts channel, Uma Thurman signs with ICM and Miramax signs animation exec Michael Lachance. SEARCHLIGHT SHORTS Fox Searchlight Pictures’ chairmen Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula have announced the launch of “Searchlight Shorts” as a collection of short films. The shorts are available on Fox Searchlight’s YouTube [...]

  • ImMature - cr: MX Player

    Indian Streamers Ramp up Original Productions

    Ever since global streaming giants Amazon Prime Video and Netflix entered the Indian OTT space in 2016, the conversation around original series has mostly revolved around them, thanks in part to market leader 21st Century Fox’s Hotstar’s circumspect attitude at the time about producing content. Netflix had great success with “Sacred Games,” while Amazon rode [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Hollywood Agents, Writers Guild Make Little Progress in Talks

    Leaders of Hollywood agencies and the Writers Guild of America made little progress in Tuesday meeting to negotiate proposed rule revisions to how agents represent writers. The WGA said after the meeting — the fifth since Feb. 5 — that talks would resume later this week but did not give a specific day. “The Agencies [...]

  • Village Rockstars

    Female Filmmakers Are a Growing Voice in India

    The Indian film industry has historically been a male-dominated one, but the winds of change are blowing across the country, albeit slowly. Better-served than the rest of the country is the Mumbai-based Hindi-language industry, where there are several active female filmmakers including Zoya Akhtar (“Gully Boy”), Reema Kagti (“Gold”), Leena Yadav (“Rajma Chawal”), Gauri Shinde [...]

  • Florence Pugh

    Scarlett Johansson's 'Black Widow' Movie Adds Florence Pugh

    “Black Widow’s” web may soon be growing. Sources tell Variety that Florence Pugh is in talks to join Scarlett Johansson’s standalone superhero film. Pugh has been on the hot list for this second lead role since last fall, but Marvel wanted to open up the field to other actresses at the beginning of the year. [...]

  • Mira Lesmana Sets up Indonesia Remake

    Mira Lesmana Sets Up Indonesian Remake of CJ's 'Sunny'

    Indonesia’s Miles Film and Korea’s CJ Entertainment are to co-produce an Indonesian remake of Korean hit “Sunny.” The film is a female-driven dramedy about a group of adult friends who reunite 20 years after high school. Directed by Kang Hyoung-chul, “Sunny” was one of the highest-grossing movies in Korea when it was released in 2011. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content