The Theory of Everything
|6:30 & 8:45 each evening|
|1:30 & 4:00 matinees Sat & Sun|
Rated PG-13; 123 minutes
Lou Lumenick, The New York Post (excerpted)
Stephen Hawking is the most famous physicist since Albert Einstein — and arguably the best-known celebrity disabled by a progressive neurological disease since Lou Gehrig. The Theory of Everything is a tremendously moving and inspirational look at this genius — based on a memoir by his first wife, Jane (a superb Felicity Jones), who met and fell in love with Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) when he was a fully able and very promising student at Cambridge University in 1963.
But a serious fall leads to a diagnosis of motor neuron disease, which is closely related to Gehrig’s ALS, and a doctor’s grim prediction that Hawking, then 21, would be dead within two years as his condition rapidly deteriorated. Of course, it’s well known that Hawking is still around at 72, having published his best-selling masterwork, A Brief History of Time, detailing his groundbreaking theories.
And despite being confined to a wheelchair and using a computer with a voice synthesizer to communicate, he’s a huge international celebrity who’s appeared in everything from documentaries to TV’s The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory. James Marsh, who directed the Oscar-winning doc Man on Wire, sensitively reveals the less familiar story of how Stephen and Jane Hawking married and had three children, their love tested by the terrible progression of his disability, which ravages his body but not his brilliant mind.
|6:00 & 8:30 each evening|
|1:00 & 3:30 matinees Sat & Sun|
Rated R; 120 minutes
Jeffrey Anderson, Combustible Celluloid (excerpted)
Based on a classic novel by Glendon Swarthout, The Homesman is a great modern-day Western. As evidenced by his last film, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, director Tommy Lee Jones has a keen eye for hard landscapes (including his own weathered face) and emotional compositions. The Homesman is full of striking imagery: the locked, coffin-like coach, fresh new buildings in hardscrabble dirt, or a disturbed grave on a gnarly plain.
Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) is an upright, single pioneer woman in the Nebraska Territory, unable to find a husband on account of being "plain" and "bossy." When three local women go insane and need to be transported to Iowa for special care, Mary Bee volunteers for the unpleasant, dangerous job. She happens upon a so-called claim jumper, the ragged, uncouth George Briggs (Jones), at the end of a rope, she rescues him in exchange for his help on the journey. Besides adapting to the unpredictable and disturbing behavior of the women, the unlikely pair must face ever-increasing dangers.
Jones is wise enough to step into the supporting role, giving Hilary Swank room to do her best stuff as Cuddy, an extraordinary woman, strong as a man, yet full of yearning and forever giving more than she gets. As Briggs, Jones sometimes provides cranky comic relief from the grim material but eventually grows into a sympathetic, essential character (thanks to several women). Meryl Streep works her magic in the later scenes, as does young cowgirl Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit).