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Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything.’

Mr. Movie: Eddie Redmayne

I recently saw The Good Nurse (2022) with Jessica Chastain as the good guy (Amy Loughren) and Eddie Redmayne as the bad guy (Charile Cullen) and I realized, “Darn, this guy can play anything!” In this film, he portrays a mass murderer who kills patients in a sly, diabolical manner. No, he doesn’t know them. Yes, this is based on a true story. And yes, Redmayne is sensational as the killer and good friend to Amy, a single mom struggling with her obligations.


Redmayne quite deservedly won the Oscar for his performance as British physicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking was a brilliant scientist who suffered from motor neuron disease, which gradually sapped his physical ability until he could communicate only by twitching a cheek muscle. Nonetheless, he made several startling discoveries, and his book, A Brief History of Time, was a great success. The Theory of Everything (2014) tells his story from the onset of his disease onward. Eddie Redmayne is simply astonishing in this role.


Another tough role to get right: In The Danish Girl (2015), Redmayne plays a married man (Einar) who transgenders as a woman. His heroic wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) supports his decision to undergo surgery converting him to female.This is based on a true story, but strays somewhat from the truth. So what? Redmayne’s performance is amazing. Oh, and Vikander won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Redmayne was nominated but lost to Leonardo De Caprio for The Revenant.


In The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), Redmayne joins a distinguished cast as lead defendant Tom Hayden. Other cast members include Frank Langella (Judge Julius Hoffman), Sacha Baron Cohen (Abbe Hoffman), Mark Rylance (William Kunstler), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (prosecutor Richard Schulz) and Michael Keaton (Ramsey Clark). From this star-studded list ,Cohen emerged as the only Oscar winner. The spectacle of a prejudiced judge having his way with a trial is worth watching.


In the 2012 version of Les Miserables, Redmayne shines as the heroic rebel Marius, doomed sweetheart of the beautiful Fantine (Anne Hathaway). This musical is a little short of the stage version, but the legendary story is great and the music is quite wonderful. Hugh Jackman is good as the unjustly imprisoned Jean Valjean and Russell Crow is fine as the hateful go-by-the-book Inspector Javier. As a singer, Redmayne is a good actor.


Redmayne can also be seen to good advantage in The Aeronauts (2019) and My Week With Marilyn (2011).


All of these films are available on DVD. All are for grown-ups.