It’s not often that films with serious scientific themes feature in popular films, let alone get Oscar nominations. Yet this year we had two, featuring that most abstract of sciences: mathematics. Alan Turing’s (The Imitation Game) code breaking work laid the foundations for modern computing. Stephen Hawking (The Theory of Everything) added to our understanding of the cosmos. In both films, the subject was not so much the science per se, as the struggle of men to complete their discoveries in the face of personal struggles, a crippling disease (Hawking) and a difficult temperament and sexual orientation (Turing). But the personal drama does not eclipse the creative work that these men were doing.