After watching the trailer for this film, I knew it was something I needed to see. Sitting down and watching the trailer for the first time swelled up an abundance of emotions, putting me on the brink of tears. It's quite a powerful and moving trailer, naturally making me excited to see the film. So I went to the film, sat down eagerly, thinking of what's to come, and what did I get? Something that's, well, not quite as fantastical as advertised. In fact, it's not really that great a film. A good one? Yes. A best picture worthy one? Not in the least bit. The academy sorta mucked up the best picture nominees this year, and I know others will agree with me. I didn't think so prior to seeing films like this, but now that I have, I finally understand what everyone was complaining about.
Following these character's journey is a heart wrenching experience. The first act of this film was brilliant, giving us just enough insight into Stephen Hawking's life and work so that we care about him and just enough of the love story to be invested in that too. Then Hawking is diagnosed with his illness and the film takes all sorts of turns, some for the best and some for the worse. The medical journey is emotional, providing us with a powerful tale. However, it takes too dominant a position in the film, briefly pausing to discuss the love story and then almost completely disregarding his work. We stop learning things about his work and focus in on his illness, which I can assure you is not enough of a story to keep me entertained for two hours.
It's filmed and directed wonderfully, sure, and the performances and beyond amazing, granted, but take them away and what do you have? Not a lot. You have a fairly generic love story told on the backdrop of a fairly generic tale about fighting an illness. There's nothing really special about the film. Plus, it's presumably very farfetched compared to the true story. After all, we're talking about a Hollywood adaptation of a book that originally showed Hawking in a negative light, but was rewritten after the author, Jane Hawking, started getting along with him again. Plus it also received the 'please give us an Oscar because we're trying so hard and this is a true story so it must be good' treatment, which always dramatises things to the extreme. Truthful? Who knows. I'm doubting it.