7.3/10
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23 user 6 critic

Einstein and Eddington (2008)

Drama about the development of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, and Einstein's relationship with British scientist Sir Arthur Eddington, the first physicist to experimentally prove his ideas.

Director:

Philip Martin

Writer:

Peter Moffat
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Tennant ... Arthur Eddington
Richard McCabe ... Frank Dyson
Patrick Kennedy ... William Marston
Ben Uttley ... Tennis Player 1
Gyuri Sarossy Gyuri Sarossy ... Tennis Player 2
Rebecca Hall ... Winnie Eddington
Jim Broadbent ... Sir Oliver Lodge
Andy Serkis ... Albert Einstein
Jacob Theato Jacob Theato ... Eduard Einstein
Callum Williams Callum Williams ... Hans Einstein
Lucy Cohu ... Mileva Einstein
Donald Sumpter ... Max Planck
Lucy Briers Lucy Briers ... Librarian
Anton Lesser ... Fritz Haber
John Bowe ... Leopold Koppel
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Storyline

Sir Arthur Eddington is a renowned physicist at Cambridge University and an expert in the measurement of the physical world. He along with all of his colleagues are also avowed Newtonians. Sir Oliver Lodge suggests that he read a new thesis put forward by a German-Swiss scientist named Albert Einstein who is suggesting that Sir Isaac Newton may have got it wrong. The expectation is that Einstein's theories will be disproven but Eddington admits that his General Theory of Relativity has merit. These are turbulent times as England and Germany are at war and Eddington's own loyalty is called into question when, as a Quaker, he refuses to fight. In the end, Eddington develops a series of tests to either prove or disprove Einstein's theories. For his part, Einstein has his own struggles during this period: the breakdown of his marriage, his integration into the university in Berlin and his own strident pacifism that led him to oppose German militarism and the First World War. In the end, ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Einstein's character is seen throwing his socks upon the crowd on a dock early in the movie. However, he never wore socks into adulthood in real life due to their propensity to make holes in the big toe. See more »

Goofs

According to the story, Eddington compares two photographs to prove that the stars have moved, thereby proving Relativity. However, the stars are also predicted to move by Newtonian physics, but by exactly half the amount. In order to prove Relativity you must measure the displacement, therefore the end of the film could not possibly have happened, it is pure invention. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Eddington: Pick up the tablecloth.
[Winnie and Frank hold up the tablecloth]
Arthur Eddington: Space. The tablecloth is space...
[Holds up a round loaf of bread]
Arthur Eddington: The sun.
[Drops it in the middle of the stretched tablecloth]
Arthur Eddington: What's happening?
Winnie Eddington: What?
Arthur Eddington: What's happening with the sun in space?
Winnie Eddington: Well, the bread is sinking into the tablecloth.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parkinson: Episode dated 5 May 2007 (2007) See more »

User Reviews

 
It's All Relative!
28 March 2010 | by SpitfireIXBSee all my reviews

Einstein and Eddington is a very entertaining TV movie: well written, with decent cinematography and above average acting. David Tennant and Andy Serkis give really good performances as the younger Eddington and Einstein respectively and the remainder of the cast are outstanding. That said, I would like to comment on the misconceptions about Eddington's sexual preference and the ongoing debate about that. What sex has to do with the storyline is a mystery. Perhaps the homosexuality hinted at in the movie is there to gain a wider audience. In any event, the movie's intimation about Eddington's sexuality and the subsequent debate needs to be addressed.

Everything I have read or was told about Arthur Stanley Eddington indicates that he was a painfully shy, genteel, devout Quaker and an active pacifist whose sexual preferences are UNKNOWN. To suppose that Eddington, or any other male for that matter, is a homosexual because they never married or died young, is an exercise in jackass fallacy; probably the most stupid deduction I have ever heard proposed. Such logic would also make every woman who never married or died young a lesbian. This is really dumb thinking, folks.

Other posters and commentators have jumped on dialogue from the movie e.g., Eddington saying to his sister: "I really loved him!" as being prima facie evidence that Eddington admitted to his sister that he was a homosexual. First, for a person to declare that they love someone of the same sex, does not presume they are in a homosexual relationship with that person or that they are homosexual lovers. Second, people forget that these words were never said by Eddington himself and that they are actually just words put into an actor's mouth by a writer or a director. The fact is Eddington's sexual preference is UNKNOWN. It was never mentioned, indicated or hinted at by Eddington, his sister, his other family members, his friends or his colleagues at any time before, during or after his death. I don't understand the logic or rationale that because he never mentioned it, confirms he must be a homosexual. If Eddington was a homosexual it would be most unusual for him not to indicate this in his personal papers because homosexuals almost always leave behind some clear indication, or even proof, of their sexual preference. I cannot think of one homosexual who didn't. And Eddington didn't. Claiming Eddington is a homosexual sounds like just a lot of homosexual wishful thinking to me.

Sadly, this inference in the movie and subsequent debate really deters from the terrific story of Eddington's (definitely heterosexual and academic) relationship with Einstein and the problems he encountered trying to prove Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. This movie would have been more dramatic if the makers had pursued Eddington's (and Einstein's) endeavours to find a repeatable scientific method experiment which would prove the Theory of General Relativity supersedes Newton's Theory of Gravity, as well as providing greater detail of the reactions of the German and English scientists and their inter-relationships with Eddington and Einstein. Eddington's battle with the Royal Society was monumental and went on for many years. Details of the science and the scientific debate would have made a more exciting and interesting movie and far more satisfying than having Eddington's character race his bicycle along a road next to a train, with a strange expression on his face, in order to bid farewell to his (undeclared) lover. It's just silly. While the movie clearly hints at Eddington's alleged homosexuality, it glosses over the Einstein's heterosexual aberration in his courting and marrying his first cousin - she was a first cousin his mother's side and a second cousin on his father's side of the family, a double whammy which gives new meaning to Einstein's relativity! Then again, I'm thankful because it really doesn't belong nor does it add to the real story. If the drama of the scientific debate had been followed more vigorously, instead of raising the homosexuality red herring, this movie would have been better for it and far more interesting. People seem to focus more on Eddington's sexual preferences than his (and Einstein's) genius and their scientific breakthroughs and achievements. And that is a tragedy.

Nevertheless, this is a very good movie that I enjoyed very much despite these shortcomings. Enjoy!

Rating: 4/5 stars


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Einstein et Eddington See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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