Stephen Hawking Biopic Has Oscar Bait Down to a Science

The upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything is set to debut at the Toronto Film Festival next month, and after the release of the film’s trailer it’s clear the movie will likely be a frontrunner at the Oscars and other awards ceremonies this year. Directed by James Marsh, the film is based on the memoir Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen by Hawking’s wife Jane and focuses on Hawking’s early years at school in Cambridge, just as he was discovering his talent, meeting the fellow student he’d fall in love with, and being diagnosed with the illness that would shape the rest of his life.

The story promises to be inspirational as we watch Stephen and Jane together overcome the disease that was projected to kill the brilliant astrophysicist within two years. Hawking will be portrayed by Tony-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, who will be a shoe-in for a Best Actor nod at least for portraying the scientist as disease degenerates his body and he makes his most important scientific discoveries. Redmayne takes Hawking from an able-bodied college student to one of the most genius minds of our time confined to a wheelchair. Felicity Jones plays Jane Hawking, and could also earn herself an Oscar nomination for her role as Stephen’s endlessly supportive wife, which saw Jones having to pull off a difficult accent.

Marsh is already an Oscar-winning director, having won for his documentary Man on Wire, which chronicled French tightrope walker Phillipe Petit’s tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Petit’s walk lasted nearly an hour and led to his arrest once he completed the stunt. Marsh’s documentary is set up like a heist film and captures both the thrill of the crime and the beauty of the artistic performance in Petit’s feat.