It’s hard to imagine a time when Einstein wasn’t the most famous scientist in modern history, but Einstein and Eddington takes us back to a time when Newton was the be-all and end-all when it came to our understanding of the universe.
The main problem with this film is that it can’t really decide what it’s about. Albert Einstein rails against the German scientists creating horrible weapons of war, Eddington struggles with his homosexuality as well as fighting against the pro-Newton establishment. Einstein’s marriage is breaking up and he starts breaking another woman’s heart as soon as he arrives in Berlin, and – somewhere along the way – Eddington manages to prove Einstein’s theories and change the world overnight.
This is an incredibly fascinating period of history, and it is a disservice to try and tell all the small details in a 90 minute movie. While both Andy Serkis and David Tennant put in great performances, this really feels like someone cut the best bits out of a miniseries and stuck them all together in a film, leaving it to feel like a series of vignettes rather than a coherent movie. I hope someone can take this subject matter and give it the breathing room it deserves in future.