Title: The Imitation Game
Running Time: 114 min
Director: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Matthew Beard, Allen Leech
Biopics about brilliant scientists seem to be populare at the moment, because shortly after "The Theory of Everything" another hot Oscar-contender about one of history's greatest minds hit theaters. Our leading man is Benedict Cumberbatch, who has already captivated audiences portaying the fictional genius Sherlock Holmes and had his own shot at portraying Hawking in the BBC movie of the same name. This time however, he takes on the role of Alan Turing, the key player in breaking the 'unbreakable' German cypher in World War II and a pioneer in computer science.
"The Imitation Game" tries to capture this man's incredible life and manages to give us a vastly interesting look at his brilliance, as well as the person behind it. Yet, as a film, it doesn't quite know what kind of a story it wants to tell: Its style and embetted real-life footage make it feel like a war movie, its flashbacks are typically for a biographical drama, and at the end its purpose seems to be portraying the horrible consequences of a society's homophobia. Neither of these approaches is far-fetched or poorly executed, but the way they are mixed and cut together here makes the movie lack a main focus. Further, the film has been accused of taking too many creative changes to the story as well as historical inaccuracy, which is always very unfortunate.
Still, the movie is very enjoyable to watch especially because of the great performances by the cast. Cumberbatch brings a hint of Sherlock into his character, but shows very early on that his excellent acting chops have much more emotional range to offer. Keira Knightley is in suprisingly good form as well, and both of these actors' Oscar-nominations feel justified. With the likes of Mark Strong and Matthew Goode in terrific supporting roles, the film manages to get a considerable emotional impact.
In the end, I can't quite tell if it was the movie or just the story of Alan Turing itself that kept me invested, but I was invested nonetheless. There are probably better ways to put this man's life into film, but this is still an appreciable attempt.
Sherlock (2010 - TV Series)
The Fifth Estate (2013)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Click Here To Watch Trailer!
And check out my friend's review over at B.A.'s Screentest for a second opinion!