To be entirely honest I wasn’t sure at first about James Marsh‘s The Theory of Everything (Focus Features, 11.7), the keenly anticipated biopic about British physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. Eddie Redmayne‘s performance as Hawking is clearly a technical and emotional knockout on at least a couple of levels (which is quite a feat given the limitations on his emoting due to Hawking’s progressive ALS condition, which kicks in at the 25-minute mark); ditto Felicity Jones‘ internals as his wife Jane, whose book “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen” is the basis of Anthony McCarten‘s screenplay. In any event I was respecting it, admiring it, and experiencing no significant problems. But I was nonetheless waiting for “it” to happen. And then it happened in the third act (I won’t divulge at this stage but I’m referring to three…well, two and a half great scenes) and all was well. Everything has now joined the select fraternity of leading, hot-shit contenders for Best Picture along with Birdman, The Imitation Game and Boyhood. The Equalizer beckons — I’ll write more about Marsh’s film later today or tonight.