Monday, September 15, 2014

TIFF 2014 videos and ToE reviews

My YouTube video playlist begins with the trailer, contains mostly TIFF 2014 videos, interviews about 
the movie with Eddie Redmayne and other cast and crew members and World Premiere videos.

Before the festival there were a few screenings for the press in Toronto, but their reviews were embargoed until the
day of the premiere. The embargo was lifted on Sunday 7th September at noon and the web suddenly flooded with
ToE reviews. Here are a few of them, a little roundup.

The Guardian: 
The Theory of Everything review: Hawking's story packs powerful punch
Boffin biopic built on towering performances from Eddie Redmayne as the physicist and Felicity Jones as his first wife
...It stands or falls, of course, on its central performance. But Redmayne towers: this is an astonishing, genuinely visceral performance which bears comparison with Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot. His Hawking starts askew – the glasses, maybe the shoulders a touch – and over the course of two hours contorts and buckles into a figure at once instantly familiar and fresh. This is more than just skilful impersonation – it's inhabitation. To look on as his face and body distort is to feel, yourself, discomforted, even queasy.
The film's emotional punch, however, comes from the trauma the disease wreaks on Hawking as one half of a couple. It manages that rare thing in any movie, least of all a well-upholstered biopic, and that is a realistic relationship, with grace notes, and a bedrock of respect and affection...

Variety: Toronto Film Review: 'The Theory of Everything'
...Redmayne’s performance nails all the outward manifestations without unnecessary exaggeration: the contorted wrist, the drooping head, the stooped posture, the inward-pointing toes, the reliance on crutches and wheelchair, and the increasingly unintelligible speech that ultimately led Hawking to use a speech-generating device. Redmayne palpably conveys the man’s frustration and humiliation at each fresh deprivation, from his inability to transfer food from plate to mouth to his difficulty holding and playing with his children...

The Hollywood Reporter: 'The Theory of Everything': Toronto Review
There is a cloying bit towards the end of The Theory of Everything when Professor Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) declaims to a lecture theater of rapt listeners that, “There is no boundary to human endeavor. Where there is life, there is hope.” What sticks out about the scene is not the sentiment itself so much, but the fact that the rest of the film it’s in manages mostly to avoid such saccharine cliches.

The Hollywood Reporter: Toronto: Eddie Redmayne Leaps to Head of Oscar Pack for 'Theory of Everything'
...what really makes this movie special is the all-out performance of 32-year-old Redmayne, whose career I've been tracking for years, from his early appearance as Matt Damon's son in The Good Shepherd (2006) through two very good recent perfs, oppositeMichelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn (2011) and opposite Amanda Seyfriedin Les Miserables (2012). Nothing in his past, though, suggested that he was capable of the sort of soulful, transformative work that he does in Theory, which can best be compared to the performance in My Left Foot that won Daniel Day-Lewis the first of his three Oscars 25 years ago.

HITFIX: Review: Eddie Redmayne is remarkable as Stephen Hawking in ‘Theory of Everything’
A moving biopic worthy of the 20th Century scientific icon
...Many moviegoers may think they already know a good deal about Hawking’s achievements, but they would do themselves a disservice to miss out on Redmayne’s almost perfect performance. Both he and Marsh provide subtle hints of Hawking’s impending condition before his diagnosis that not everyone will catch. As each stage takes away more and more of Hawking’s abilities, Redmayne carefully contorts his body and increasingly takes the form of the man you would easily recognize in silhouette today. By the end of the film, he has an almost uncanny resemblance to the modern day Hawking who is still working hard at the age of 72. But let’s remember, Hawking’s movement is limited to pushing buttons on a speaking machine and moving his eyebrows when signaling something in a conversation. There is one particularly powerful scene in Hawking’s later years where he cries while the rest of his body barely moves (and I mean barely). It’s a moment that will haunt you long after you leave the theater...

Evening Standard: Toronto Film Festival: The Theory of Everything - film review: 
Wonderful performances from stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones help this Stephen Hawking tale triumph
...As Jane, Felicity Jones is deeply touching from start to finish. She’s just so emotionally present, so involving, all the time she’s on the screen. She makes this film just as much about Jane as it is about Stephen Hawking.
And as her husband Eddie Redmayne is astonishing, a persuasive lookalike as a young man and then portraying disability wholly convincingly too. Almost preposterously good-looking, he makes Hawking effortlessly attractive, now floppy, now incisive, always charming. You credit the intelligence.
Together they make the movie much more vital than could have been anticipated. There will be prizes. They will be deserved...

Indiewire: TIFF Review: 
...In a story about Stephen Hawking from the perspective of Jane Hawking, both actors needed to be at the very top of their game, else the picture would collapse. Instead, they soar. Redmayne in particular turns in a physically demanding performance like he’s a veteran and not a rising superstar, crushing all of his previous roles. Jones has less to work with, which is in itself a weakness in Anthony McCarten’s screenplay, but despite this and some shoddy age make-up, she personifies her character through all her various stages with tenacious intensity. Most importantly, the chemistry between the two is indisputably explosive; in all stages of the characters’ lives Redmayne and Jones imbue the screen with an elegance and a sophistication becoming of a timeless tale of love and deep friendship. Stephen’s gleeful side is similarly helpful in holding our attention and not letting the picture stray too far into corny territory. Watch for the scenes when Stephen gets his first speech synthesizer; moments that should be shrouded in gloom are in turn illuminated by the energetic spirit of a man who still doesn’t know the meaning of giving up.

gif from xoxoeddie
Eddie Redmayne wins rave reviews as Stephen Hawking as Theory of Everything takes Toronto by storm

It looks like Benedict Cumberbatch has some company in the race for the 2015 best actor Oscar...

Could The Theory of Everything be an Oscar contender?
...who would have expected that the most complicated cinematic love triangle at the Toronto Film Fest would include A Brief History of Time author Stephen Hawking?...
...Redmayne is handsome in a highly unusual, specific way, and though Marsh tries to offset those looks by outfitting him in nerdy glasses, brushed-forward hair, and crushed-velvet blazers, there's only so much that can be done: He looks like Austin Powers in Burberry...
...Jane loves Stephen, but she has begun to bristle at her all-consuming caretaker duties; Jonathan, then, can help offset her workload, though their feelings for each other soon get awfully complicated ... especially when Stephen begins to detect their chemistry and must struggle with whether to condone his wife's affair of the heart.
And that's when things get interesting in this heretofore conventional biopic, which was well-received this morning and spurred Oscar talk for Redmayne and Jones...
...Redmayne is a corker in the central role, and though the film has an Oscar-ready profile — Redmayne is playing a real person who dramatically suffered from a crippling disease, so the script might as well have come with an Academy Award nomination paper-clipped to the front page — he'll be one of several strong competitors this year in a stacked Best Actor category....
..."I'm happy it wasn't just 'love conquers all,'" said my friend, and though I understood the point he was making, I think The Theory of Everything actually is about just that thing. Love can conquer, but there will be battles along the way, and even casualties. If love still remains at the end, then that's enough....

BLACK SHEEP REVIEWS az TIFF 2014: The Theory of Everything
It’s easy to say that 2014 hasn’t been the best year for film so far, but the year definitely isn’t over yet, and if what’s to come is as good as James’s Marsh’s latest film, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. It is one of those films that will have people everywhere talking about how wonderful it is, and will most likely go on to earn an Oscar nomination for Eddie Redmayne, the film’s lead actor. (Ok, admittedly I’m no expert when it comes to awards predictions, but I’m going out on a limb here to say that Redmayne deserves every accolade possible for his work here. No joke. He will bring you to tears.)
Based on the book “Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen”, written by famous genius, Stephen Hawking’s first wife Jane (played in the film by Felicity Jones), THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING tells the story of when the two first met during their years at Cambridge University, Stephen’s diagnosis, their subsequent marriage, and eventual divorce. It doesn’t focus too much on his academic success or his significant contributions to the world of physics or how he changed the way we look at the universe, but it doesn’t shy away from those topics either. It is definitely a story of his personal life, but it is almost impossible to neglect the brilliant mind of Dr. Hawking.
The most stand out element of this film (aside from the prodigious story) is Redmayne’s performance and physical transformation throughout the film. There are times when watching that it felt like an extraordinary feat to see Redmayne manifest himself into an image of Hawking we are all familiar with, but he accomplishes this with incredible success and surprising ease. His transformation gets right under your skin, and touches your heart because his journey is so powerful. We may not all be able to relate to all the challenges Hawking has faced in his life, but we can definitely appreciate everything that he has accomplished with his brilliant mind, and THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING honours his work and his life beautifully.

The big talk this morning in Toronto– the sensational performance by British actor Eddie Redmayne as genius physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. A biopic similar to A Beautiful Mind, James Marsh’s emotional but uneven film relies on Redmayne to pull off this miracle of a performance. Hawking, now 72, has lived in a wheelchair with a severe form of ALS since his early 20s. Redmayne conveys completely Hawking’s genius and his suffering very much as Daniel Day Lewis did something vaguely similar in its physicality with My Left Foot. Redmayne has already proven himself as a star in the making from “Les Miserables” and on Broadway with “Red.” This cinches it. Bravo!

Finally! I am so excited I can barely type this! A true Oscar champion has emerged at TIFF’14! FINALLY! I was about to give up hope! But young British actor Eddie Redmayne has emerged as a sure fire Oscar Nominee for Best Actor for the heart-rending “The Theory of Everything.”...
...Redmayne is just incredible in this. He wowed all and sundry last year in “Les Miserables” as Marius. And now he’ll break your heart several times over as Hawking, and he’ll make you weep at the end. Oscar is gonna love this! I PREDICT! It’s mindful of the career-making performance of Daniel Day Lewis in “My Left Foot” which won DDL his first Oscar quite awhile ago.
And I haven’t seen a performance of this kind of extreme disability combined with extreme skill and heart since then.
Eddie Redmayne WTF!!!...
...“The Theory of Everything” is a love story and a very powerful one. Bring all the handkerchiefs you can find.
You’ll cry your eyes out, but you’ll leave the theater happy. As this hardened press and industry audience at TIFF collectively melted in Redmayne’s and Jones’ expert hands and their were audible sobs heard everywhere, and thunderous applause at the Princess of Wales theater in Toronto at the end of the film. Then again, when Eddie Redmayne’s name came up. I haven’t experienced that anywhere this year at TIFF’14. If TIFF is an Oscar launch-pad then consider Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones and “The Theory of Everything” launched into the stratosphere!...

'The Theory of Everything': Eddie Redmayne's Big Oscar Bang in Toronto
TORONTO — "The little guy has done it!"
So proclaims a Russian physicist after Stephen Hawking presents his theory of diminishing black holes in The Theory of Everything, which premiered Sunday night at the Toronto International Film Festival to a loud and lusty ovation. But the same could be said for Eddie Redmayne, the British actor who plays Hawking so elegantly, with such impish charm and frustration as his body descends into motor neurone disease, that we finally — finally — have a bona fide Oscar contender from the film fest that's been known to breed them.
...Not that Redmayne, at 5'11" (six-foot-two with that shock of red), is a little guy. But his portrayal of Hawking, utterly convincing physically, emotionally and existentially from the film's first frame to its very last, will forever stand as a very big breakthrough indeed: Redmayne has never been nominated for any major mainstream awards, but if this theory holds, that history will change in a brief amount of time...
...Redmayne is masterful at switching between Hawking's frustrations with each setback — first it's shuffling, then a cane, then two canes, then a wheelchair — and his irrepressible sense of humor. An arch of an eyebrow here and there, or a zinger delivered in Hawking's increasingly failing voice let us know that, yes, Hawking is suffering as his body gives out on him, but the bright spark of his spirit is still alive and well...
...It is this juxtaposition of very big ideas with very human moments that makes The Theory of Everything really soar; but it is Redmayne's performance that keeps the whole thing grounded.
...There are many good, solid laughs throughout The Theory of Everything, nearly each via Hawking's playful and rascally streak; he plays with his children, he teases and cajoles his colleagues, and his wit is acidic without being mean-spirited. There are many moments of sadness, too, forged in the irony that one of the world's greatest minds, perhaps Einstein's greatest living legacy, is trapped in a body whose function is all but lost...
...A final note on The Theory of Everything: At a brief question-and-answer session following the Sunday night premiere, the cast and filmmakers took the stage, with the screenwriter McCarten telling the audience that Hawking had recently screened the film and, when the lights went up, a nurse wiped a tear from his eye. His first words: "Broadly true." colleague Glenn Whipp and others have noted, the extraordinary transformation, coupled with other Oscar-friendly elements, make him an instant front-runner...
...The physicality of it all is great, particularly in the film’s second half. But there’s another part of the film, the first section, when Marsh focuses on Hawking’s early Cambridge days as a young PhD candidate. There’s a nerdy ebullience to the character, and Redmayne conveys it perfectly...
...All-in performances are catnip to voters. So is a charming but accessible personality, especially if you’re a newcomer. (Sean Penn maybe doesn’t need it.) Redmayne, improbably, offers both. He also provides a discovery element for anyone who isn’t a theater and/or “Les Miserables” film insider... 


  1. Hello Judit! In the last pic you can see the girl from Lola´s Tea Party ( I think her name is Olivia?) in the front. Right?

    1. Yes. You're right. Olivia is the third from right in the first row next to Maxine Peake, who plays Elaine Mason, Hawking's second wife. She wrote about shooting this scene in her post:

    2. There are pictures from this scene in my 9th August post 'Eddie as Stephen Hawking - more pics from the new trailer' too. I'm not sure, but I think she's in the first pic too in the top left corner.


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