Hawking 2004

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In January 1963, 21-year-old Stephen Hawking (author of the international best seller A Brief History of Time) stood in a consulting room on the third floor of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. He looked out on the snow-covered street below, listening in silence to the carefully chosen words of the hospital’s senior neurologist. In two years, the doctor slowly explained, Stephen would be dead. He had been diagnosed with ALS - amyotrophic latereral sclerosis, or motor neurone disease. Featuring an Award-winning cast HAWKING is a dramatization of those next two extraordinary years. In the vein of A Beautiful Mind, HAWKING is both a love story and a historical account culminating in one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of any age, the final proof of Einstein’s big bang theory. Against all the odds and with the strength of this girlfriend Jane’s love, Stephen survived his debilitating illness and went on to make his ground-breaking discovery that contributed to the Nobel Prize of 1978 and is still acknowledged today.

Starring:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Lisa Dillon
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Lisa Dillon, Michael Brandon, John Sessions
Director Philip Martin
Genres Drama
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 14 October 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Lisa Dillon, Michael Brandon, John Sessions
Director Philip Martin
Genres Drama
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 8 September 2014
Main languages English

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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 May 2005
Format: DVD
A gripping account of the famous physicists diagnosis of motor neuron disease at the age of 21, and his subsequent discoveries in the field of cosmology, in particular his work on the big bang and black holes. Hawking's neurological demise is excellently portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, and the blossoming relationship between Hawking and his future wife Jane, in the face of his rapidly diminishing health, is beautifully depicted. Hawking's realisation of the concept that led to his explanation of the big bang is an incredibly uplifting moment. I could not recommend this highly enough!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Maria Fleischhack - The Baker Street Babes Podcast on 27 Nov 2010
Format: DVD
Hawking is one of the better BBC productions, and Ben Cumberbatch manages to portray the scientist in his early years both beautifully and saddening. Not only does the film cover the most important of Hawking's ideas, but, more importantly, his disease and his way of dealing with it and fighting a fight that everyone thought he had already lost. It's a very inspirational film with a perfect performance by the actors.

I highly recommend this film, because it shows how strong a human being can be when both physical and professional obstacles are thrown in his way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Myllyluoma on 31 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The contribution of the cast as well as the production crew (many familiar names here for Sherlock as well as Who fans) need no further comment. Other reviewers have already expounded at length upon exactly how top-notch all of it is, and it is all true.

The film focuses upon a few but very important years in Hawking's life; his time as graduate student at Cambridge 1962-1965.
The timeline is slightly blurred for dramatic reasons -- e.g. in reality, Hawking was admitted to Trinity Hall in 1962, and was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963, while the movie flips these events around -- but the movie has a very interesting device in that it occasionally flashes forward to 1978 and an interview session with Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias on the eve of their Nobel Prize. And while it's all just a matter of historical record, the following may contain some plot spoilers:

In experimenting with the Holmdel horn antenna 1964-65, the pair had discovered a persistent background noise, but had absolutely no clue as to what might be causing it. They even went to the point of shooting the pigeons nesting in the antenna and removing their droppings (or "white dielectric material") as one, for them, plausible source for the signal.
At the same time, Hawking had had an epiphany about applying Roger Penrose's theorem of a spacetime singularity in the centre of black holes to the university as a whole, and how the flow of time of an implosion reversing in the singularity would instead cause a bang -- a Big Bang. In 1965, he wrote his thesis on this topic.

In the movie, Professor Fred Hoyle challenges his conclusions by stating that according to Hawking's theory, there ought to be residual heat in the universe, and that somebody ought to have detected it by now...
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Sample on 30 April 2012
Format: DVD
Just watched this film again [recorded it from bbc4] saw it first time a few years ago absolutely brilliant,Benedict Cumberbatch is a 1st class actor, a very touching account of the early career of Stephen Hawkins and the tragic onset of his debilitating m.n.r. A wonderful insight of this brilliant man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Herbert on 4 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a beautifully done, inspiring film which several times brought tears to my eyes as it celebrated both the human spirit and physics as an adventure of the mind! It also reminds us what a good actor Benedict Cumberbatch is. Here he uses his physicality to portray a body becoming more and more disabled. In his recent role as the Frankenstein monster, he labors in anguish to gain control of his newly created body.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David H J Ashdown TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Dec 2013
Format: DVD
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or MND is a terrible condition that in most cases leads to death in 3 years with only 4% surviving up to 10 years , Stephen Hawking is unique in having survived for 50 years with the affliction and it is testament to his incredible intellect that has been able to contribute so much to the understanding of cosmology specifically the " big bang " and the existence of black holes. Benedict Cumberbatch brilliantly portrays Professor Hawking when he was diagnosed with MND at the age of 21 and still a fledgling Ph.D student. The rest of Stephen Hawking's life is well documented but this early account is worth watching as it shows that even when presented with the most terrible prognosis it is still possible to lead a fulfilling life. Not many scientists can have had a more profound effect on our understanding of why we exist and where we're going , he is an inspiration to all those who come into contact with him.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Phoebe Freeman on 27 Sep 2013
Format: DVD
The first film I ever saw Benedict Cumberbatch in; I was captivated by his incredible acting and now I'd quite happily say that he's my favourite actor.

This is the only film I've ever cried at. It's not to say that it's the saddest, but it's definitely the most bittersweet.

I recommend wholeheartedly.
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Absolutely marvelous! I am overcome by Cumberbatch's mastering of the character with all his disabilities!
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