Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By Craig Thornton
Contributing Writer 

The Imitation Game

 

Last updated 4/29/2015 at 4:06am

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game has been nominated for Eight Oscars Including: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay.

British Alan Turing's story is fairly well known now, especially after the Queen's official pardon of him in 2013. There have been previous theater/film accounts of his life and his work and how important it was to ending World War II. The recent documentary is called Codebreaker (2011) and in 1986 there was a play entitled Breaking the Code, by Hugh Whitemore, which in turn was made into a television movie in 1996, both starring Derek Jacobi. The story is revisited here by a fantastic cast and crew headed by screenwriter Graham Moore and director Morten Tyldum. Although the story has been told before, this film is so impeccably well done that you will be enthralled.

Turing was a brilliant mathematician, whose covert work with the British government during World War II, helped break the "unbreakable" Enigma: German's secret message machine. .Turing is played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes TV Series, 12 Years a Slave). Cumberbatch is brilliant in the role, and an Oscar nomination is expected to follow his Golden Globe and SAG nominations. Burdened with a character that isn't warm or particularly likeable, Cumberbatch brings a quirky, almost hidden vulnerability to the arrogant know it all. He renders Turing interesting, even when the most interesting thing about Turing is never visible (his brain). Cumberbatch exudes intelligence and secrecy, hinting at Turing's complexity in very subtle fashion. Of course Turing has secrets, other than the military ones.

The entire cast of British actors is great, and they blend into the roles and the period, like only Brits can. Kiera Knightley who has also been nominated for a SAG and a Golden Globe gives an impressive and sincere performance as Joan Clarke, the only woman on the code breaking team. She totally inhabits the role of a woman who is an amazing mathematician in a male dominated world and is grateful to finally be doing what she was born to do. Considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, Knightley is by no means homely in The Imitation Game, but she certainly doesn't look anything like the stunning glamourous woman in the new Chanel commercial. It is a testament to her hard work and versatility. Downton Abby fans will recognize Allen Leech as John Caincross, another member of the code breaking team, with a secret of his own.

SPOILER ALERT

The story of Alan Turing and his contribution to the Allies victory in World War II is so compelling and so deftly and briskly told in The Imitation Game, it really doesn't need an added layer of subtext or meaning. However truth is stranger than fiction and here Turing's personal journey, after his work for his country is finished, is sad and a glaring indictment on anti-gay laws and bias of 20th century Great Britain. For those who think gay rights are not important or that gay people have all the same rights as everyone else, watch The Imitation Game. For those who are interested in seeing a great war film without any battle scenes, see The Imitation Game. For those who want to see a story of great perseverance and discovery, see The Imitation Game. For those who just want to see a very good movie, see The Imitation Game. Lastly, for those who want to see how NOT TO TREAT a national hero, see The Imitation Game.

 

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