Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Written by Studio Cana
December 25, 2014
A Beautiful Mind meets The Social Network, A Brilliant Masterpiece
In The Imitation game Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the real life man responsible for cracking the Natzi Enigma machine. The Enigma machine was a code encrypting device that helped the Natzis communicate with what was then known as an unbreakable code. Alan is called upon by the British government’s MI6 along with a crack team of brilliant minds. Alan is very quirky genius who rubs everyone the wrong way. Along with the way he brings on Joan Clark (Keira Knightly) to help, when he finds her in an open invitation puzzle contest he places in a paper. Alan and his team race against time to build a machine that will eventually crack the code and help allied forces triumph over the Natzis and end World War II.
I have to admit this type of movie looked like something I would normally avoid. Something about British period pieces puts me to sleep. I am not a fan of Downton Abbey, can’t bring myself to find it entertaining. I am also less than a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, I used to find him odd and off putting. How does that guy have droves of female fans? I just didn’t get it. I must now go on record as saying Imitation Game is a game changer for me. This film had everything you want in a great film; brilliant insight into little know bits of history that as of recently were top secret, smart funny dialogue, heartbreaking personal drama and brilliant acting performances all around. There is a repeated quote throughout the film “Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” I can’t imagine a better performance in this role better than Cumberbatch. His social awkwardness and introverted portrayal of Alan Turing is transcendent. I am now sold on the brilliance of Cumberbatch. Together he and Keira Knightly make cinematic magic in transporting us to a very important and little know piece of world history. Without Alan Turing there would not be the modern computer we enjoy today. Plus we might all be speaking German.
This movie at its roots is about communication. The coded, encrypted way we communicate as society. Most wars and disagreements stem from a lack of one side or another to communicating clearly. There is a lot to learn in the message of this film. The Imitation Game is nominated for best picture and acting nods for both Cumberbatch and Knightly, and rightfully so. This movie is a must see film of 2014.
It’s officially that time of year — we hear the Oscar nominations and quickly schedule time to catch up on the nominated actors, screenwriters, directors and movies before February 22. There are always some surprises and some let downs … and I automatically assumed The Imitation Game would be in the “let down” category. My favorite work of Benedict Cumberbatch is limited to a Jimmy Kimmel “Mean Tweets” sketch … and that’s about it. Simply put, I avoided this movie until absolutely necessary because I assumed it would be boring and pretentious.
And you know what happens when you assume… right?
Yes my friends — I was WRONG. Very wrong. This is one of the best movies of 2014 and very much deserves The Academy praise.
Go see it.
I know, I know. It’s another WWII movie. And it’s British accents. And it’s not starring [insert favorite Hollywood crush here]. Go. This movie is about so much more than a WWII strategy that experts say ended the war at least 2 years earlier than if it didn’t happen (2 years of lives saved!) It’s about so much more than a genius that had zero social skills. It’s so much more than seeing some of your Downton Abbey characters NOT talk about Matthew (inside joke for you Downton fans).
In 114 minutes The Imitation Game provides a fascinating history lesson on newly released classified WWII history. (FYI – some stretching of history of course for the silver screen … after you see the movie check out this article sharing some “secrets” from the screenwriter.) In 114 minutes you also learn about the man that inspired the work of great geniuses we know today — Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc. Alan Turning, played by Cumberbatch, is truly the founder of modern-day computers. While there are many outstanding people that took his work to create the computer, tablets and phones we use today, he started with the blank sheet of paper knowing “a smart machine” could be possible. His name needs to be included in our conversations about technology.
If you are an Apple geek, you may already know the (rumored) connection between Turning / Apple’s logo / Steve Jobs. Just google “Steve Jobs Alan Turning” and you’ll see the pages upon pages of articles over the years suggesting that Apple’s ‘bitten apple’ logo was honoring the death of Alan Turning. Jobs said “God we wish it was” in response. A CNN article from 2011 goes through some of the rumors and reactions from what Jobs called an urban legend. No one but Steve (and Woz perhaps?) really know.
I’d like to believe Jobs & Turning are smiling down on all of us as we silence our iPhones to learn about this great strategy of WWII history through the eyes of The Imitation Game. If you enjoy your computer, your smartphone, your tablet — do yourself a favor and learn more about the man who set the foundation for these life-changing machines … and a significant contributor to ending a World War. You won’t regret it.