So, who must it be? Eddie Redmayne or Benedict Cumberbatch?
It truly boggles my mind, leaves me scratching my head; and ’tis not a metaphor. It is one of those showdowns that we see so often in other competitions, mostly sports. Be it the never to stale Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo, or Manny Paquiao vs Floyd Mayweather…there is always a rivalry.
But this year’s leading Oscar contenders have outperformed themselves and each other to a stalemate that has to be broken with unfairness at some point.
It is inevitable – sadly – that we must choose from the two.
Eddie Redmayne was Professor Stephen Hawking and Benedict Cumberbatch was Professor Alan Turing. Both British Professors being mathematicians with speech disorders – and Hawking with neurological disorder as well – the roles demanded a lot.
Professor Stephen Hawking gave a 100 on 100 to Eddie Redmayne as the Theory of Everything star gave the performance of his life, being eerily spot on as Hawking.
While Benedict Cumberbatch gave the audiences a much beloved enactment of the late Alan Turing’s speech disorder and struggle with homosexuality in a nation that had it criminalized.
While in argument, Alan Turing’s contribution to the modern world are far more immense than Stephen Hawking…as mentioned by several peers of the theoritical physicist, his disability gives him a celebrity appeal and the celebrity status gives him an upper hand. In spite of several adaptations of Stephen Hawking’s life…he is still inevitably favoured.
The Theory of Everything’s real protagonist is his wife played by Felicity Jones.
The Imitation Game also featured Keira Knightley as the female lead and she gave a masterful performance too, being the voice of support and love to the much confused and aloof Benedict Cumberbatch.
Cumberbatch emoted this cocktail of negative emotions so effortlessly, it seems like this is everyday chore.
Cumberbatch’s performance made me weep at times…so did Eddie Redmayne’s….both did justice to the people in whose shoes they were stepping into.
There is no definitive answer to this debate then…and regardless of the winner, there will be loud noises from both camps. In reality Cumberbatch and Redmayne are friends, but while considering the silver screen’s golden boy…there is rivalry rife.
Only time will tell, for time is a river. And until then, let us have a second viewing of the films.
~ Zalysar Cuvegis