Feb 10, 2015

Finally, we have a race on our hands

'Even before the detection of Lou Gehrig’s disease while studying cosmology at Cambridge, Eddie Redmayne’s makes us acutely conscious of Stephen Hawking body in The Theory of Everything.  He inhabits it the same way small boys operate remote-controlled toys — with a mixture of offhandedness and feral concentration. His gangly frame is there to do his bidding, if he thinks about it at all. Shambling, shy and slouched of posture, hands shoved in pockets, he peers out from behind an unruly mop of hair, enunciating his words in a soft tumble, his mouth caught up in a crooked Cheshire cat grin, as if faintly abashed by his own brilliance.   Just how much of himself Redmayne brings to the role is was evident from his graceful turns at the podium at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and, last night, BAFTA, where he picked up Best Actor. Finally we may have a race. That’ll teach me for complaining about how becalmed the Oscars were this year. The Oscar could still go to Michael Keaton — the academy have a habit of looking after their veterans — but Redmayne has been charming on the campaign trail, and the role of Hawking is  catnip to the actors who gave him the SAG and who make up the largest voting bloc of the academy — he spend the latter half the movie communicating emotion solely through his eyes. Together with a Julianne Moore win for Still Alice, an Oscar for Redmayne would make a clean sweep of the top acting awards for  degenerative neurological diseases' 
— my piece on the Oscar race for Intelligent Life 

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