Eddie Redmayne’s performance [as Stephen Hawking] is astonishing, as eloquent, though in a different way, as Daniel Day-Lewis’s work in . Day-Lewis, playing the Irish artist Christy Brown, a man whose mobility is reduced to a single limb, deployed his left foot, a bushy black beard, and minimal, mangled speech to create a ferociously willful and sexually miserable man. Redmayne is a gentler actor; he was the noble youth in Les Misérables who sang, in a fine light tenor, the tear-stained but upbeat ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.’ Tall and slender, with freckles and a flattened upper lip, he wears his brown hair in a heavy mop that in this film falls across his forehead to meet enormous black-framed glasses. With his narrow shoulders, he initially looks like an abashed scarecrow. Redmayne uses his eyebrows, his mouth, a few facial muscles, and the fingers of one hand to suggest not only Hawking’s intellect and his humor but also the calculating vanity of a great man entirely conscious of his effect on the world.” — from David Denby‘s New Yorker review of The Theory of Everything.