09222017Headline:

New York in 24 Hours Reviewing “The Theory of Everything”

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By Ashley Boudreaux  

If you received a text message saying that you have the opportunity to go to New York City alone for 24 hours, would you? Oh yeah, the reason why you are going is to attend a press screening for the upcoming movie, “The Theory of Everything,” along with interviewing the actors, director, and producer of the movie. Working with Focus Films, entertainment company Moroch was looking to send one person from The Dolphin newspaper to New York City to preview the film and interview the actors, and luckily I got the chance to yes without hesitation.

Filled with excitement and a bit of fright, I headed to New York City prepared for an experience of a lifetime.  My main schedule on Friday consisted of landing in New York at 10 a.m., and attending “The Theory of Everything” press screening at 7 p.m. Saturday’s schedule, wake up to interview Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, James Marsh, and Anthony McCarten at 12 p.m., then quickly grab a cab to the airport to catch my flight at 4.  Sounds like an adventure, right?

As soon as I checked into my hotel Friday morning, The Waldorf Astoria, I dropped my bags and headed to 5th Avenue.  I only had a few short hours to take in the city before the press screening that evening.  After visiting a few of my favorite shops, the St Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center, I had to find somewhere to quickly grab a bite to eat and then head back to the hotel room to get ready for the screening.  I stopped at The National by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, where I sat in a corner four-person sized booth by myself.  It was cool.

Back at the hotel, I immediately prepared myself for the screening.  With my leather bound notebook in my bag, and red lipstick applied perfectly, I was ready.  Feeling confident  and walking to the screening, which was about 6 blocks away on 5th Avenue, I  finally arrived to my destination, and started watching the film’s preview for media.

The opening scene depicts a young and healthy Stephen Hawkings, played by Eddie Redmayne, crazily riding his bicycle through Cambridge to get to class, where his intellect and charm shines.  Flash to the next scene where Hawkings is attending a party. He first sets his eyes on the beautiful and elegant Jane, played by Felicity Jones.  Jane and Stephen find themselves sitting in a corner staircase  fascinated with each other as if they were the only ones at the party. Stephen’s sweet yet rockstar-like charm attracts Jane so much that she leaves her phone number with him.

These are just a few of the many admirable characteristics of Hawkings portrayed throughout the movie. As Jane and Stephen’s relationship begins to grow, we begin to see Stephen having present, yet unnoticeable difficulties with his mannerisms and doing everyday tasks.  Simply serving food at the dinner table becomes a messy task. Stephen soon find out that he has Motor Neuron Disease, and is told he has only two years to live.  Jane commits her life to loving and helping Stephen through this life-altering disease.  From this point on we see the many ups and downs of Stephen and Jane’s life together.  From Stephen’s goal to find “one simple elegant equation to explain everything” to Jane learning how avoid losing herself being Stephen’s wife and caretaker.

Just like Stephen’s winding bicycle ride in the opening scene, “The Theory of Everything” is an emotional must-see movie that portrays unconditional love.  Not only the unconditional love involved in relationships, but also unconditional love of words, having one’s own ideas, and overcoming all obstacles.

Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Stephen Hawkings is award-winning.  He makes the emotional and physical challenges of playing Hawkings seem as though they were no challenge at all to the Tony Award-winning actor.  Redmayne’s overall performance of being a healthy young man to a physically-impaired older Hawkings is absolutely incredible.  Felicity Jones portrayal of Jane Wilde is inspiring and noteworthy.  Jones’ many emotional scenes are eloquent, yet heartbreaking.  Jones’ evolution of Jane from being a sweet church-going young girl, to a strong-willed woman is exceptional.

After the movie, I really began to reflect on the ups and downs of Stephen and Jane’s life.  I felt like if they could make it through everything, then I could make it through this New York adventure.  With this I-can-do-anything-I-set-my-mind-to sort of attitude, I was ready to take on my interview with the “Theory of Everything” cast.

Prepared and ready for my interview, I entered a room filled with about 30 other college students all patiently waiting for Jones, Redmayne, Marsh, and McCarten to arrive.  Reading over my questions and nervously fiddling with my pen, I still couldn’t believe where I was.  Suddenly a man standing to the left of the room loudly announced, “All right everyone…here is Anthony McCarten! Eddie Redmayne!  Felicity Jones! and James Marsh!”  Each time he announced a name, he yelled it as though he was the announcer at a basketball game.  When Felicity’s name was announced, she cheered in like a cheerleader at the homecoming game.  The tension and nervousness immediately left the room.

Unfortunately, we only had about 45 minutes together since the entire press junket was running a bit off schedule.  But lots of questions were asked…from what was the specific moment that really influenced you about this movie…to asking Felicity if she would ever want to get married after seeing first-hand the hardships of a marriage(we all had a good laugh at that.) McCarten’s answer to his specific moment involved a bit of a relationship algebraic question that had everyone laughing, he “wanted an unusual love story.”  Eddie said when learning more about Hawkings he saw a picture of Hawkings after being diagnosed with MND, standing up amongst a crowd with his hands in the air looking full of life.  Felicity’s moment was when she met Jane.  She described her as “queen-like.” McCarten’s answer revolved around the interesting scenes at the dinner tables through the movie.  McCarten also began to talk about challenges of writing scenes due to the lack of dialogue in the movie.  Most of the movie involves scenes where Hawkings can only say few words, so there had to be a story that represented his thoughts.  Eddie added that he had to focus on “when to look, when to press play, what word to use,” to depict Stephen’s struggles. At moments there was a “who has the power” aspect between Jane and Hawkings.

After the short interview, I grabbed my bags and headed to the airport.  The experience was amazing. I learned from “The Theory of Everything”  that overcoming obstacles is possible, never stop trying and believing in what you want, and live your life by your own rules.  “The Theory of Everything” is a must-see you will not regret.

 

 

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