Morris can't seem to decide if he's making a biographical study of Hawking's life, or a visualisation of his ideas. The entire thing feels superficial and unfulfilling; never going deep enough into either area to uncover a profound, emotional or theoretical truth. The film is also incredibly bland and unadventurous, reducing complex thoughts and theories to a series of exceedingly banal and dated CG illustrations.
"I had made a mistake. I had been using too simple a model of the universe. Time will not reverse direction when the universe begins to contract. People will continue to get older so it is no good waiting until the universe recollapses to return to our youth." :(
It's too bad that a Stan Brakhage visual visionary type of person couldn't have made this instead. Hopefully string theory and mutiverses and whatnot are legit and somewhere we are understanding much more thanks to a filmmaker with visual intelligence of an order akin to the geometric math Hawking had to invent to continue his work.
I think Morris held back on this one. Maybe it's because I'm comparing it directly to 'The Thin Blue Line', with its repetition and thorough excavation of details. I did love the interweaving of stories of Stephen with his very own stories and his theories of the universe. I think the only improvement would have been to dive even deeper; I felt there was some sort of attempt not to overwhelm the viewers.
Documentary that explores the theories and life of one of the greatest minds of the 20th/21st century. While I can see criticisms that the piece does not focus enough on either aspect referred to above, I think there is a good mixture of both his ideas and personal life to be satisfying.