Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Review: The Theory of Everything

What kind of film is The Theory of Everything?

The opening move cries out for the category "film bio (formulaic)", with those shots of an ambiguous event in the near-present-day, before we tumble back to the early life of our subject. However, it lacks the key plot element of a childhood trauma involving an abusive parent or dying sibling.

And who is the subject? Stephen Hawking, of course. But not quite. The film claims to be based on the memoir of his wife, so this could be her story -- or their story. Perhaps, but the focus is mostly on Hawking, who is far too attractive as the hero, what with his quest to explain the entire universe, and his degenerative disease.

Could it really be a tear-jerker disease drama? No, because (and I apologise now for the gratuitous spoilers) the hero lives.

We're left, I'm afraid, with that gentle, inoffensive genre known simply as "British film", a tale of quiet determination populated by fruity character acting.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Planning ahead

January is the perfect time to make idealistic plans for the rest of the year, just as February is the perfect time to forget them.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

One hundred revolutions

To kick off the year, allow me to apologise in advance to you, the relatively innocent, for the actions of my fellow devotees of the cult of Einstein. In the coming months, the Relativists will be out in force to accost you with breathless attempts to explain Einstein's general theory of relativity. They will gesticulate and gibber and blabber in an incomprehensible argot that they will paradoxically refer to as "simple terms". I have no idea how many of these shambling, mumbling, misshapen creatures roam the Earth, but don't worry, by the end of the year you and I will both know the precise number with complete certainty: we'll have had the opportunity to count them all six or seven times over.