It's hard not to come away from watching a movie like Hawking and not feel in some way changed by the experience. Sure Stephen Hawking is a brilliant scientist (the movie's subtitle mentions as much) but Stephen Hawking is also an exceptionally grounded individual. The movie portrays a man who lives each day as though it were his last (because little could be further from the truth). He spends his days relying on human kindness and unfailing machine to keep his brilliant mind percolating out astounding ideas. Much like Tim's Vermeer this is a movie about obsession, but where Tim's Vermeer is an obsession with recreating a painting using techniques theorized to be the same as Vermeer, this movie documents an individual obsessed with the origins of the universe and about staying alive. It's trite to think of disability as somehow inspirational but Stephen Hawking can't help be inspirational, with his finely-honed wit and lust for life firmly in grasp. But what is more fascinating is the relationships he has with both caregivers and his former wife Jane. I can't imagine the sort of stress his illness had on their relationship, and I wonder myself if faced with the prospects of ALS if I would be nearly as strong. I'm certain every day was a struggle, but seeing someone not only break through and prosper through adversity gives me a sense of perspective on my own life and challenges.
Definitely check this documentary out. It's available online if you look in the right spots. Hawking is not only a remarkable scientist but also a good storyteller and narrator of his own life, successes, and challenges.