The Theory of Everything (2014)
This biopic about the life and works of Stephen Hawking is a captivating study of the terrible disease ALS, and how living with and around it can be. As most people know, Hawking is well-known for being the longest ever survivor of ALS, but he's also one of the world's leading theoretical physicists, something The Theory of Everything for some reason seems a little less interested in exploring. Instead, director James Marsh (Man on Wire) structures his film as a love story between Hawking and his wife of thirty years, Jane – and the struggles they face as Hawking gets gradually more impeded by his condition. The brilliant performances by the two lead actors drives this drama forward and evokes a full spectre of emotions, and it's especially heart-rending to witness Hawking's bodily decay up-close, magnificently portrayed by Eddie Redmayne who delves into this with heart, soul and mannerisms. Despite some familiar plot structuring, the drama feels authentic, perhaps because the film enters into rather unexplored territory. Still, I had hoped from a director of Marsh's calibre that he had dared to go deeper into Hawking's mind and thinking, however theoretical it might be. The title makes that promise.