If you happen to trip or fall and break a bone, it usually can get fixed. Joints after years of an active lifestyle are now being replaced with high-tech metal products. However, when the body is attacked by a disease the landscape of the person’s life is forever altered. I am old enough to remember a time when people would avoid talking about their or a family member’s affliction. Those that were children were separated from the general student population; rarely to be seen except for the occasional assembly where they were relegated to a section of seats far from the other students. There were few outlets where adults could get special attention to assist them in achieving or maintaining a level of quality to their lives. It was not unusual for healthy individuals to react with fear and avoid those who were dealing with a physical or mental challenge. In fact, I am going to share with you a tidbit that might surprise you. Kids who were bullied would develop a dislike or even hatred towards disadvantaged peers. You see with the constant barrage of negative comments and physical abuse, the victims would redirect their anger towards an easy target which usually would be a challenged individual. I know this may sound twisted to you; that internalization of not being perfect can warp a person’s perceptions. Gratefully we have advanced and there are people who set a high standard for what can be achieved. PHYSICAL limitations could not stop Stephen Hawking, played by Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn, Les Miserables), from exploring his ideas about the universe. Based on Stephen’s first wife Jane’s book, “Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen,” this film festival winning biographical drama followed the challenges and achievements of two extraordinary individuals. With Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman, Like Crazy) playing Jane, the two actors were wonderful together. They acted and appeared as these two strong characters who together could take on any obstacles. Eddie was beyond amazing as he physically transformed himself into the brilliant astrophysicist battling a debilitating disease. I found myself at times writhing in my seat with sympathy pains for what I saw Eddie doing on screen. The director allowed the story to flow smoothly whether the scenes were of a scientific or romantic nature; I always felt I was engaged with the characters on screen. If there is fault to be found I felt it was the script. It seemed as if some events were being treated quickly. I would have liked to have seen more story and emotion to them. The satisfying feeling I was experiencing overshadowed this complaint. What an example to see how one man did not let his physical limitations hold his mind back from growing and exploring.
3 1/4 stars