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LFF 2014: The Imitation Game | reviews, news & interviews

LFF 2014: The Imitation Game

LFF 2014: The Imitation Game

Cumberbatch at top of a great cast in Morten Tyldum's Alan Turing biopic

Benedict Cumberbatch: memorable as Alan Turing in 'The Imitation Game'

Benedict Cumberbatch leads a superb cast in The Imitation Game, the highly-anticipated biopic of Alan Turing, gifted mathematician and father of modern computing.

Benedict Cumberbatch leads a superb cast in The Imitation Game, the highly-anticipated biopic of Alan Turing, gifted mathematician and father of modern computing. The opening film for the LFF this year, this beautiful period drama, adapted from Andrew Hodges’ book The Enigma by debut screenwriter Graham Moore, travels between Turing’s formative days at boarding school and miserable existence in the 1950s, centring on his unique and crucial work defeating the Nazi’s Enigma encryption device during WWII.

The English-language debut by Norwegian director Morten Tyldum (best known for the wonderful dark comedy Headhunters) is a classy film made for a general audience. Comparisons to A Beautiful Mind and Enigma will arise, but, like The King’s Speech, this is aimed to thrill even those who have no interest in history. Tasteful though it is, it doesn’t veer away from the treacheries of war or the suffering inflicted on homosexuals at that time. It handles these complexities with tact and ease, turning a difficult tale into a compelling story for worldwide appreciation. There's no sex, nor should there be.

Cumberbatch is perfect – emotive and credible, eyes illuminated at key moments by cinematographer Oscar Faura (The Impossible). Keira Knightley is refreshing as mathematician, friend and fiancée Joan Clarke, while Mark Strong (with hair!) and Charles Dance (who gets in a joke or two) anchor a remarkable ensemble of Matthew Goode, Alan Leech, Rory Kinnear and Matthew Beard. Production design (especially the computing device) by Maria Djurkovic and score by Alexandre Desplat are essential to the vibrancy of this must-see film.

It doesn’t veer away from the treacheries of war or the suffering inflicted on homosexuals at that time

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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