Monday, September 22, 2014

Breathtaking and beautiful - ToE promo and articles

We’ve been treated with another new promo for The Theory of Everything, positioning it strongly 
as a romance. “Breathtaking and beautiful” could describe both the stars and the production. 
And look who’s above Felicity’s head on the carousel — Richard II ! (bespokeredmayne)

While we’re on the topic of frontrunners, Eddie Redmayne likely punches his ticket into the Best Actor race with his miraculous portrayal of brilliant physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking in James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything.
(Quick side note: I’m not crazy about breaking everything down into the Oscar categories, particularly in September. Believe me, I understand that the Oscar race is a marathon, not a sprint. But when you see two performances like Reese Witherspoon and Eddie Redmayne at a festival that proudly declares itself a launch pad for just such exercises, it’s going to lead to a column like this. Now, on with the show.)
The Theory of Everything is a romantic, artistic and beautiful story about a challenging love shared between Hawking (Redmayne) and his incredibly supportive spouse, Jane (Felicity Jones). An intelligent love story, The Theory of Everything touches the heart by exploring the sacrifices both parties made to cope with Stephen’s debilitating disease. And it’s in that physical transformation that Redmayne elevates his game.
Yes, the Academy LOVES to reward actors who look like Redmayne when they sacrifice their on-screen appearance for the good of a part. But reducing Redmayne’s portrayal to an Oscar-reaching parlor trick is dismissive and unfair. His transformation, physically and internally, into Hawking is flat- out mesmerizing. He is stunning. This is one of the year's greatest performances, and I believe Redmayne currently is the one to beat in the Best Actor category.

Cineplex sat down with Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, and James Marsh to talk about 
bringing the life of Stephen Hawking to the big screen, the physicality of Eddie’s performance, and the 
appeal of these characters.-  CINEPLEX interview video - Photo: Eddie with Rachel West 

The Best Things About Eddie Redmayne's Performance as Stephen Hawking
...Redmayne portrays Stephen from the time he was an able-bodied college student to Hawking's state now, in a wheelchair, unable to speak, and with little muscle control. In the film, we watch this degeneration gradually; first Redmayne walks with a cane but is still upright then is forced to use the wheelchair as he loses more and more control. He slurs his speech in the early years, slowly losing his ability to talk, until he's finally only using his face to communicate (Redmayne has said he'd read that Hawking's eyebrows were "incredibly expressive."). The actor also wore prosthetic teeth and ears, and combined with the contortions he's forced into in the wheelchair,
the physical performance alone is mind blowing...

...Thus, we watch him deal with the frustration of his physical state while experiencing the joys of a loving marriage and the birth of his children. There's so much emotion here, and Redmayne commands your attention and empathy.
...An unexpected aspect of Redmayne's performance is how charming he manages to be, even when (and sometimes especially) he can't move or speak. Of course, the implementation of a speech-generating device serves to preserve much of Stephen's sense of humor, while Redmayne's evocative expressions show you that there's still a whole person inside, despite his paralysis.

Indiewire: David Ansen's Top Discoveries from Toronto 2014

...Errol Morris’s "A Brief History of Time" gave us a scientific and philosophical portrait of the groundbreaking physicist and cosmologist Steven Hawking, his body immobilized by ALS, his mind in constant motion. "The Theory of Everything," directed by James Marsh ("Man on Wire") couldn’t be more different. Inspired by Hawking’s wife Jane’s intimate memoir of their marriage, it’s a full-on love story, glossily mounted and aimed directly at the heartstrings. It could have been shamelessly sentimental, and it tries too hard to strike an inspirational note at the end, but I found it irresistible.
The key to its success is the casting: from the moment Steven and Jane meet at a Cambridge University party in 1963, the chemistry between Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones lights up the screen with wit and warmth, and never lets up. Redmayne, spookily brilliant as the twisted homosexual son in "Savage Grace," and effortlessly appealing in "Les Miserables," is a virtuoso, able to convey the workings of Hawking's restless mind even in a state of total immobility, and Jones is every bit his match. Bathed in a golden light, "The Theory of Everything" is almost disconcertingly pretty: its beauty is as much a commercial as an aesthetic choice, buffering us from the implacable painfulness of Hawking’s physical condition. But to its credit Anthony McCarten’s smart screenplay doesn’t avert its eyes from Hawking’s capacity for cruelty and betrayal: he’s no plaster saint, and the emotional complexity of their relationship gets its due.. It’s a moving and honorable crowd-pleaser...

...there hasn’t been an outstanding best picture contender, but there has been so many Oscar-worthy male performances that rendered best picture debate almost irrelevant. Instead, fans and experts were embroiled in a discussion about next year’s Academy winner in the best lead actor category.
What makes these performances so captivating is the fact that they are drawn from real life and bring to life real people, both dead and alive, with uncanny authenticity. Some are so equally compelling that it’s virtually impossible to choose a winner among them. But judging from past Award winners, British actor Eddie Redmayne has a decent chance of snatching an Oscar this year for inhabiting the famed disabled physicist, Stephen Hawking, in Oscar-winning James Marsh “The Theory of Everything,” which, based on the book of Hawking’s wife, Jane, follows the physicist’s race against time and a cruel disease to unlock the mystery of the universe. Felicity Jones also delivers a poignant performance, portraying Jane Hawking whose undying love for her husband kept him alive and lead him to glory.... Eddie Redmayne on portraying Hawking 
by Ruben V. Nepales, Sept. 21, 2014 - Interesting interview about the filming and his own love story 
I posted here most of the first half of the interesting long interview - this part is about Stephen Hawking and 'The Theory of Everything'. The second half is in my previous post. You can read the the full article by clicking the title link.

Very likely a Best Actor nominee for ToE. (x)
...Eddie, often using just his eyes, eloquently expresses a wide range of emotions, from sadness, humiliation, hurt, rage to mirth—a lot of the latter as Stephen, despite his debilitating condition, never loses his sense of humor.
I knew embarrassingly little about Stephen, particularly given that I actually went to Cambridge University,” admitted Eddie, casual in a layered look of leather jacket, denim shirt, tee, slim pants and sneakers. “I’d seen Stephen there and in the streets—an icon in the wheelchair. I even overheard his voice.”
Quipped the classically trained actor, a smile lighting up his face, “But I gave up science when I was 12 or 13. I studied History of Art, for which I apologized to Stephen when I met him the first time. When I read this script (by Anthony McCarten), it was an extraordinary revelation. I really had no idea that there was this incredibly uplifting, powerful—sometimes funny—story behind this icon, and that there was an extraordinary woman (Jane) behind him.”
Eddie relished his first meeting with one of the century’s greatest minds, at the latter’s Cambridge home. “That was five days before we started filming. I had spent five or six months reading and watching everything I could. He’d become quite an idol to me by then.”

Verbal diarrhea
Again breaking into his boyish grin, Eddie continued, “As you know, I suffer from verbal diarrhea. I basically spent a good 35 minutes vomiting forth information about him to him, telling him about himself. He just sat there going, ‘Yeah, I know.’ But it was amazing, and he gave me so much on that first meeting. There was one slightly embarrassing moment when I was struggling to fill space because it takes him time to speak. I said, ‘You were born on the eighth of January, Galileo’s birthday.’ He made a big point that he was born 300 years after Galileo was born.”
Still smiling, Eddie carried on, “I said, ‘I was born on the sixth of January so we’re both Capricorns.’ Stephen looked at me and then spent a few minutes typing on his machine. In his iconic voice, he said, ‘I’m an astronomer, not as astrologer.’ I broke into this horrific sweat. Even now, I can still feel the sweat—the idea that Stephen [suspected] the guy playing him in the biopic thought he was a horoscope writer.”

The 32-year-old London native (full name: Edward John David Redmayne) talked about how he may have gotten the acting bug since, he stressed, “I don’t come from a theatrical family at all. But I’ve always had this weird thing about having been born on the night that my parents were going to see ‘Cats.’ My mom couldn’t go [because she was in labor], so my family always thought that my interest in theater came from that. Plus, my first-ever theater job was playing Viola in ‘Twelfth Night.’ It was the sixth of January; that was weird. And my first play after university was ‘The Goat’—Capricorn is the goat. I’ve always wondered whether there was a whole weird side to that.”

We asked if there was a singular point in his intense preparation
to play Stephen when he finally thought he got it. “You never think you get it, particularly when you’re playing someone who is living, and you’ve met him, and you’ve watched every bit of footage,” said the young actor, who has already won an Olivier and a Tony.
“Because we couldn’t shoot chronologically, James allowed me to see the rushes each night, just to check if all the physical aspects were going OK. It was just endlessly disappointing because [I am] used to seeing the real thing.”
He added, “Every single time, I would see what’s not right, but I suppose what I gleaned from our meeting was this amazing optimism, energy, vibrancy and humor. I took that to the film. For all the things that were thrown his way, he still found humor. There were moments when I felt like
I caught that.”
Indeed, his delineation of a man whose humor is as strong as his mind, invests his portrayal with humanity and appeal.
Eddie pointed out, “The other night when, I think, you saw the film (he meant us), was also the first time I’d seen it with an audience. Those moments of laughter made me so happy because meeting him was
one of my funnier experiences.”

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