The Theory of Everything

Before They Were Oscar Nominees: British Stars Up for Academy Awards in 2015

This year five talented Brits have been nominated for an Academy Award. Most of these names are quite familiar to UK film fans; however, before they were delivering inspiring performances and their names appeared on movie theater marquees, they had to pay their dues with small guest appearances in television series and made-for-TV movies.

Let’s take a brief look at their careers before they were Oscar hopefuls…

BAFTA 2015: Which is the Best British Film?

If the holidays are wrapping up and the cold, dark winter is truly setting in, it can mean only one thing. It’s awards season! For the UK film industry, the greatest accolade that can be bestowed is from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA for short, which also happens to the name of the statuette presented to the winners.

On this past Friday, the nominees for the 2015 BAFTAs were announced at the Picadilly headquarters of the Academy itself by perennial host Stephen Fry and his cohort Sam Claflin. While there might have been a few snubs, most of the expected names were announced. Of interest to British movie fans, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game received multiple nods for acting, screenplay, director and best overall film. Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike and Imelda Staunton also earned nominations for their impressive work in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl and Pride respectively. A complete list of nominees can be found here.

Though a British organization, most of BAFTA’s awards are not limited to UK produced movies except for one – the Outstanding British Film category. Last year some of the nominees for this award had a tenuous claim to this distinction. In fact it was Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney that won this honor in 2014.

This year’s batch of outstanding movies are much more identifiably British and a good representation of UK filmmaking overall. Two are biopics of famous scholars, two are based on historical events set in the fairly recent past, one is a Scottish sci-fi thriller and the last is a CGI depiction of a beloved British children’s character. I’ve actually seen four out of the six films on the list and, despite a few disagreements based on my own personal tastes, would concur with a majority of its candidates.

Let’s take a look at the nominees, shall we?

British Actors You Should Know: Eddie Redmayne

The major film festivals have taken place and now Hollywood is releasing the trailers for its 2015 Oscar contenders. If you pay attention to that sort of thing, you may well have heard the buzz around our latest featured actor – Eddie Redmayne.

He’s receiving accolades for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The film follows the life of the world famous scientist from his days as a student at Oxford through his devastating ALS diagnosis and out the other side to the triumph of his career and his determination to outlive the dire predictions of his doctors. He does all this with the love and full support of his fiancé, and later, wife, Jane (Felicity Jones) by his side.

(Curious about The Theory of Everything? Watch the trailer.)

Long before this breakout lead role, however, young Mr. Redmayne had been getting noticed for his acting skills on both sides of the pond. He’s won the Olivier and the Tony for his supporting role in the play Red as well as other theatre and film award nominations. So if you’re not familiar with this talented performer, here are just a few examples of Eddie’s past television and film work which you can view, in most cases, tonight if the mood strikes you.

WATCH: Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything' Trailer

Biopics about incredible British men – and starring incredible British men – seems to be quiet a theme at the movies in 2014. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is earning early raves for his portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game and now fellow dreamy Brit Eddie Redmayne (whom you may know from Les Miserables and Birdsong) is also generating quite a bit of buzz in a role Cumberbatch previously played. (Because, you know, of course he did).

Redmayne is playing the great British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in a new film entitled The Theory of Everything. The drama explores the complex relationship between Hawking and his first wife Jane, and chronicles his diagnosis and subsequent battle with motor neurone disease beginning at the age of 21. (Motor neurone disease, in case you weren’t aware of this, is known as ALS in America, and was the impetus behind that Ice Bucket Challenge that took over your Facebook feed this summer.) The film follows his career as a groundbreaking theoretician and the many discoveries he made as his body deteriorated.