Love, a failing body, a soaring mind

November 14, 2014 7:42 AM

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Love, a failing body, a soaring mind

Stephen Hawking, the British cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and best-selling author, is 72 now. In 1963, when he was 21, a brash, bright-eyed Cambridge doctoral student, he began to lose control of his muscles. Simple things like picking up a pencil or climbing the stairs became daunting. He was told he had "motor neuron disease," amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. Doctors gave him two years to live. Nobody was doing a bucket challenge.

The Theory of Everything is director James Marsh's very fine, very moving account of that time - and the relationship that started just before his diagnosis, and turned into a 30-year marriage, with Jane Wilde, also a Cambridge student. On that level, the film is a love story - full of impossible co...

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