Andrew McCarten’s Stephen Hawking Biopic a Comprehendible Hit

New Zealand screenwriter Anthony McCarten’s latest The Theory of Everything, which hits American cinemas on November 7, is “a sensitively directed inspirational biopic centred around the great British physicist Stephen Hawking and his mind-over-body struggle with motor neuron disease,” Variety’s chief film critic Justin Chang writes.

Co-produced by New Plymouth-born McCarten and fellow New Zealander Tim Bevan, The Theory of Everything also features  “superb performances from Eddie Redmayne (Hawking) and Felicity Jones (as first wife, Jane).

“McCarten’s script offers a clipped overview of Hawking’s achievements while keeping the scientific and mathematical discourse at a level that laypeople in the audience will readily comprehend, employing such figures as Cambridge professor and leading cosmologist Dennis Sciama (David Thewlis) to tease out Hawking’s head-spinning notions about black holes, space-time singularities and the boundaries of the universe.”

The film’s world premiere screening at the recent Toronto Film Festival “received a rapturous standing ovation and suddenly became the talk of Twitter,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

McCarten is a also novelist and playwright. His novels have been translated into 14 languages. His first, Spinners (2000), was voted one of the top ten novels of that year by Esquire.

McCarten lives in London and Los Angeles.

Queenstown-born Bevan co-founded Working Title Films in London with Sarah Radclyffe and Graham Bradstreet in the 1980s. Among Bevan’s more than 40 films as producer or executive producer are Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Love Actually, Notting Hill, Elizabeth, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Atonement, and Frost/Nixon.

Original article by Justin Chang, Variety, September 7, 2014.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images North America.


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