Director: Morten Tyldum
Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode
The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), the mathematician and cryptanalyst credited by Churchill as making ‘the single biggest contribution to Allied victory’ during the Second World War. Cumberbatch is magnificent in his portrayal of Turing and the plethora of well-justified Oscar buzz after a career affirming 2014. The supporting cast (Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Keira Knightley) put in solid efforts and the original score by the award-scooping Alexandre Desplat adds to the films highbrow aspirations but functionally serves to smooth over the occasionally formulaic and clunky script.
The Imitation Game fails to fully cover all its chosen topics (the war, the development of computer science, the repression of homosexuality), in particular the latter. Choosing not to show Turing with a male partner whilst ‘overplaying’ his relationship with colleague Joan Clarke (Knightley) is a result of a script feeling as old-fashioned as the year it was set. Despite these shortcomings, it has had a vital impact, both in engendering awareness of Turing and his astonishing body of work and provoking a long-overdue conversation about the persecution him and thousands of others faced, at the hands of the country he was instrumental in saving.
Originally published in Crack Magazine