11/07/2014 01:14 EST | Updated 01/07/2015 05:59 EST

The Theory of Everything: FILM REVIEW

Actor Eddie Redmayne doesn't just play Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, the actor skillfully charts the famed physicist's bodily decline, and captures the triumph of his mind.

- VIDEO | Math movies at TIFF defying the odds

The highly-anticipated biopic opens in select theatres this weekend, bringing to screen the remarkable life of one of the world's most brilliant thinkers. The film begins with Hawking as a charming young cosmologist at Cambridge, and follows his budding romance with literature student—and future wife—Jane (played by Felicity Jones).

As fate would have it, the pair learns of Hawking's diagnosis of ALS and grapples with the prognosis that he'll only have two years to live. As the film continues, so does the disease's devastating impact on Hawking's body.

And Redmayne's performance makes him a shoo-in for the Academy Awards.

The movie is "a perfect monster for the Oscars," says CBC's film critic Eli Glasner. "It's a character we know, an inspiring performance, and physical transformation." 

The Theory of Everything is now playing in Toronto and opens in more Canadian cities later this month.

Watch Eli's full review in the video above.