Moira and I went along to the Watershed this afternoon to see Morten Tyldum’s acclaimed “The Imitation Game” – the story of how the Nazis’ WW2 “unbreakable” Enigma machine codes were cracked at Bletchley Park. Actually, it’s the story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) – the brilliant, but troubled, fragile mathematician and cryptanalyst - who was credited for the success of what must have seemed, at times, like an impossible mission… and how, subsequently, his wartime achievements counted for nothing when his homosexuality came to light. You probably already know how the story pans out, but it’s probably best if I say no more…I thought Cumberbatch was quite, quite magnificent. Simply stunning.
In my view, it will take an absolutely exceptional performance to prevent him from winning an Oscar.
Although I was familiar with the basic, fascinating story (and the outrageous and sad way in which the authorities in the UK used to treat homosexuals less than a generation ago), I thought the overall film was excellent too – high drama, humour and very good all round performances by all the cast (although I felt Keira Knightly was probably a bit too glamorous to play the part of Joan Clarke!).
So, accept no imitations (gosh, that’s clever isn’t it!).
As far as I’m concerned, you can forget Timothy Spall and “Mr Turner”, Benedict Cumberbatch and “The Imitation Game” is probably the best individual performance and best film I’ve seen this year!
PS: But, of course, what do I know? I’ve just checked out some reviews and they’re pretty mixed (except that there appears to be a general consensus that Cumberbatch was brilliant) – The Independent gave it 4 stars, while The Guardian and Telegraph both only gave it 3 stars.