In 1963, as a cosmology student at the storied U.K. university Cambridge, Stephen (portrayed by Eddie Redmayne of Les Misérables) is making great strides and is determined to find a "simple, eloquent explanation" for the universe. His own world opens up when he falls deeply in love with an arts major, fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones of The Invisible Woman). But, at 21 years of age, this healthy, active young man receives an earth-shattering diagnosis: motor neuron disease will attack his limbs and his abilities, leaving him with limited speech and movement, and will take his life within two years.
Jane's love, fierce support, and determination are unwavering - and the duo weds. With his new wife fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen refuses to accept his diagnosis. Jane encourages Stephen to finish his doctorate, which includes his initial theory of the creation of the universe. They start a family, and with his newly earned and widely hailed doctorate Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of - time. As his body faces more limits, his mind continues to explore the outer limits of theoretical physics.
Together, he and Jane defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed - well into the 21st century.