This is an extremely positively painted tale of Stephen’s and Jane’s life together. A fairy tale, you could say. Its positivity and hopefulness did make me think, what if the main character had been played by a disabled actor? What if our world was that fa(i)r? Why isn’t it? Wouldn’t that have been the cherry on top? Wouldn’t that have delivered better on “there should be no boundaries on human endeavour”?
Now some people will say, if an actor plays a disabled person, well, that’s what acting is about. But – the problem with that is really, that minorities are still underrepresented on screen. Whether it’s people of colour, trans or disabled people, they don’t get casted much. So, when there’s disabled people who could play this role, why would you not consider them? Why can’t they even play those roles? Real progress would be, if they could play any kind of role, they’d want to play. But we’re so far off from that.
I understand, that it’s hard for white males to give up their privilege, but the only way out here really is, for them to reject those roles and encourage directors to cast actors with disabilities. As long as disabled people don’t have the same opportunities as abled bodied actors, it’s not ok for them to play those roles.
Don’t expect a lecture on Hawking’s scientific work here, this is clearly a love story. It’s based on Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. I did enjoy watching the movie, but it’s clear that the movie is not an actual portrayal of the couple’s lives. It’s almost a feel-good movie, which concludes with a hopeful message. Really a good watch for the season!
It would have been elevated by an actor with a disability though. Just that one step further to convey a message that mankind would love to believe in. And I guess, the movie is really more that than a biography. It certainly got me dreaming about a world, where everyone is included, where everyone is truly equal and has equal opportunity.
A world, that does not exist yet.