Tuesday, December 30, 2014

[Review] The Imitation Game

"Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine."

The Imitation Game joins The Theory of Everything in 2014's set of prestige biopics about incredibly brilliant minds. While the film about Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde's marriage held two excellent performances from Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones & was profoundly moving, The Imitation Game and its story about mathematician Alan Turing brings on the great performances AND some intense espionage drama.

Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is socially awkward and humorless, but his humorlessness actually makes him funny. He's also extremely confident in his genius mathematical abilities. During World War II, he's recruited by the British army in order to help a top secret group crack the Nazi communication code, which in turn could save millions of lives. He distances himself from the brainy group and takes it upon himself to invent an entirely new machine, which his higher-ups are reluctant to fund. Turing is also hiding a deep secret: he's gay. And if anyone finds out, he's finished.

The script here is super sharp, and there's a lot at stake, so every twist and turn keeps your interest. Just when you think the film could potentially drift off into tedium (a lot of it involves tinkering with wires and discussing technological theories that would even escape your Honors Calculus students), it gets a big crank of suspense. The performances are solid all around, and Keira Knightly gives a terrific turn as the only woman in the group. But of course, Cumberbatch drives this thing, demonstrating the intently detailed and emotionally-ranging performance that Oscars are made of.

Turing's story is a heroic testament of dedication, and unfortunately, also one of tragedy.


No comments:

Post a Comment