Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Benoît Delhomme and The Theory of Everything

Over break, I decided to watch a few movies that were going to be nominated for Oscars. When I first heard of "The Theory of Everything," I thought it was going to be a bland documentary on the life of the well renowned scientist, Stephen Hawking. However, I was drawn in immediately by the beautiful opening sequence. Contrary to the seriousness of the subject of the film, the opening was filled with sunlight and radiant unfocused shots that brought in the audience and made you feel a sense of lightheartedness and beauty. Just from these shots, it was obvious to predict that the movie was going to be shot beautifully. Benoît Delhomme put an amazing amount of effort into the cinematography of this film.

The colors and bright lights that are brought into the film are exaggerated and push the boundaries of what these places and scenes would look like in real life. Colors can bring out so many different emotions, and Delhomme definitely took advantage of that fact. The different scenes were enhanced with colors and effects that made the audience feel like they were inside a story.

Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of Stephen Hawking was breathtaking. In addition to his acting, the way that Delhomme continuously lit his face with bright lights made me feel more connected to the character than I thought I would be. Delhomme used tons of natural light with windows, and I especially remember the shot of Hawking looking outside the window of a train. In an interview, Delhomme states that, "I wanted to see the power of the light everywhere in the film. I thought it was a way to express that Stephen needs the universe around him. Many times I have strong light on him, maybe strong sunlight on his face, because that's the energy he needs."

Overall, the shots in the film were all very rich and bright. In addition to the cinematography, this movie was a beautiful story that I recommend everyone to watch. The acting is tremendous, and there is never a dull moment throughout it. The director, James Marsh, in collaboration with the brilliant Benoît Delhomme created a film that is definitely one for the books.

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