‘The Theory of Everything’: Oscar Buzz is beginning to build for Eddie Redmayne

We’re at the point in the year now where even something small as a new look at an awards hopeful can change prognostication in a notable way. Yesterday, a Trailer his the net for the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything. I’ll have an embed of that at the bottom of this piece, but what I wanted to briefly touch on today was how sometimes just a quick look at something like this can upend award thinking. Basically, this film had been thought of a longer shot contender for Best Picture, Best Director (for James Marsh), Best Actor (for Eddie Redmayne), and Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress (for Felicity Jones), along with Anthony McCarten for his Screenplay, but now I’m sure people will be rushing to add Jones and especially Redmayne to their shortlists. That’s the magic of a strong Trailer, it can really do wonders for a contender.

For those of you are unaware what this one is about, it’s pretty much a look at the life of genius Stephen Hawking, shown through the lens of a biopic/love story. Redmayne plays Hawking while Jones plays his wife. The film looks to follow Hawking’s life from his school years, up until the present day. It’ll depict the health struggles that turned his body into a shell while leaving his one of a kind mind unscathed while also showing how the woman he loved helped see him through. It’s not the most original premise for a movie ever, but the unique nature of Hawking himself could be the difference maker. I wouldn’t sleep on this flick folks, traditional sounding biopic or not.

What’s interesting to me about this pretty strong response to the Trailer is that it doesn’t show off anything particularly unique. In many ways, you could almost argue it’s a remake of A Beautiful Mind, more or less. The praise is almost entirely centered around the two main performances and the newfound enthusiasm for them. Redmayne especially looks to give the heartbreaking and showy performance that awards are built for. Jones is always strong too, as she’s one of the best up and coming actresses in the business. Provided the role is more than just the typical supportive spouse part, she should be in contention as well (and even then, the Academy does like to cite that kind of performance as well). Sight unseen, it’s hard to argue against this as a potential contender for many awards during the precursor season.

We won’t know anything about the actual quality of the work until it plays at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival (and perhaps elsewhere), but it’s certainly something not to discount now. The Theory of Everything won’t be out until towards the end of the year (November 7th, to be exact), but if Marsh and company have crafted more than your standard biopic, it’ll be a force to be reckoned with in multiple categories. Regardless, I suspect Redmayne will be heavily in contention almost no matter what, with Jones not far behind. The material is certainly set up for them to succeed in a big way…

Here’s the Trailer, by the by:

Stay tuned for more on this contender in the coming months!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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