This is a screenwriting school homework exercise. It works so far as all the required containers seem to be in the right place, but it fails because they have nothing inside them.
Mathematicians are like artists. They carry this divine impulse to do work. Hopkins knows this. But they gave him nothing to support this notion. So we see him draw all the energy of his performance from the empty space in front of him. This is the most clever trick in this movie.
Someone gave Paltrow too much freedom here. This was a bad idea. Paltrow is an actress who needs strict direction to make something work. She fails to conjure up a being.
Do not bother with this. I usually avoid these films at all cost. I am not sure what happened this time. Misleading trailer?