is messier than Redmayne can convey" is the title of an article by Anne Perkins in the Guardian.
I don't know who Anne Perkins is but she was criticising the portrayal of Hawking's life in the film, "The theory of everything". I have not seen the film so I cannot comment on whether Anne Perkins's ability to comment on the film or the film.
Years ago I did see Daniel Day Lewis in "My Left Foot". A group of "us crips" (we all have cerebral palsy) went to see it - eleven of us if I remember correctly. Most of us had read the book as well.
What did we think of it? We enjoyed it. We thought Lewis was good, indeed very good - so did the critics. He won an Oscar for his performance.
I know a other people who did not like it. They found it too confronting. It was, they said, "too real".
I suspect they have "tidied up" Hawking's day-to-day life too. The reality is that it would not make a good film. It would be too slow. It would, quite frankly, be boring to watch someone being lifted from bed, washed, shaved, dressed, fed etc. People want something to happen.
Does "tidying up" make it a bad film? Is it wrong to ignore the "messiness"? I don't think so. If I do see the film I think the thing that will bother me the most will be the inability of anyone to convey the frustration at not being able to communicate through speech.
It has to be said here that I can speak. I probably talk too much! But I have good friends who have severe and even profound communication problems. I have taught children with severe and profound communication problems. The effort they have to put into communicating even the simplest messages is something I only partially understand. I understand it only from my point of view - even when I am trying to think of how to frame the next question so that they can answer me "yes" or "no". ("Yes" by looking up and "no" by looking down.)
Could I portray that in a book? I don't know. I haven't tried. Would I need to do it from my point of view - or theirs? I don't know.
I did put a character with a disability into one book - but I write about her from her brother's point of view. A friend, now deceased, asked me why I had not written the story from her point of view. "You could you know," she told me.
I could write a book from her point of view - but it would be a different story. The story I wrote is Michael's story - not Chantal's.
And of course Michael is a "normal" boy. The other characters who appear in the book are "normal" people. I can write about them can't I?
One of the things writing has to be about is trying to get under the skin of the characters - what do they think, believe, feel, do, know? How do they do these things?
If reading or seeing a film or play is about "the willing suspension of disbelief" then writing has to be about that too. We have to believe we are the character we are writing about for a moment. We have to know whether they like cornflakes or porridge for breakfast - or no breakfast at all. We will probably never write that into what we are writing - but we should know it.
And we have to be able to write about the things we need to write about. Michael needs Chantal - and he needs Chantal to be the way she is. I had to write it that way. I may not have succeeded - it certainly hasn't been published - but I tried.
So, they may not have got the film about everything right from the point of view of real life - but they will have got something right. It's a start - and it may be as far as any of us can go. Quite possibly the film portrays as much as we would want to understand. As TS Eliot puts it, "Humankind cannot bear very much reality."