By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Though it didn’t receive the most Academy Awards nominations of any motion picture this year, “The Theory of Everything” picked up a respectable five nods Thursday including Best Picture, Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne and Best Actress for Felicity Jones.
Redmayne plays astrophysicist/author Stephen Hawking and Jones plays his supportive wife, Jane, in the uplifting romantic biopic. Hawking was diagnosed as a young man with a rare, early onset form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but managed to cope with his debilitating disease to become a world-renowned scientist.
Reacting to the news, Redmayne said in a statement, “I’m so incredibly honored to be recognized by the Academy, and even more thrilled to share this honor with the entire family of filmmakers, cast, and crew of ‘The Theory of Everything.’ This role was a once in a lifetime experience. Congratulations to my fellow nominees, thank you to the Academy, and thank you most of all to Stephen and Jane Hawking.”
Redmayne, 33, is considered one of the frontrunners in the Oscar race, following his Golden Globe win in the drama category last Sunday. He also has received BAFTA and SAG nominations for his remarkable performance, in which he had to spend hours each day on set contorted in a wheelchair.
In her statement, Jones said, “I’m overwhelmed at this incredible news. This is a huge, huge honor. My deepest gratitude to the members of the Academy. I’ll look forward to celebrating this with everyone involved in ‘The Theory of Everything.’ Thank you so much.”
Jones, 31, also was a Golden Globe nominee as well as a BAFTA and SAG award contender for her portrayal of the low-key but determined Jane Hawking.
Fresh from his Golden Globe win, Jóhann Jóhannsson remarked, “I’m deeply honored to be nominated for composing this score. Filmmaking is a collaborative medium, and I was lucky to work with artists of amazing caliber on ‘The Theory of Everything’: the actors, the screenwriter, and the director, James Marsh — who has my gratitude for inviting me to be a part of his team and for being a brilliant, inspiring and generous collaborator. My thanks to the AMPAS members for this recognition.”
The drama, based on Jane Hawking’s memoir “Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen,” also garnered a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for writer Anthony McCarten, who as a producer on the film shares the Best Picture nod with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Lisa Bruce.
The other seven Best Picture contenders this year are: “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Boyhood,” “American Sniper,” “Birdman,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Imitation Game” and “Whiplash.”
Redmayne faces fellow Best Actor nominees Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”), Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”), Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper”) and Michael Keaton (“Birdman”).
Besides Jones, the other Best Actress nominees are: Marion Cotillard (“Tw Days, One Night”), Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”), Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”) and Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”).
The Academy Awards will broadcast live Sunday, Feb. 22 on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.