Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Imitation Game

This week I am committed to seeing all the Oscar nominated films out there. This is screener season so finding a nice pristine copy for myself and my picky mother, who demands to be able to watch the films she hears about in the comfort of her bedroom, is easy.

First let me say that Imitation Game  is a beautiful film that moves like a mathematical fairy tale - one that finally has been told after all these decades. Like A Beautiful Mind, it focuses on the life of a brilliant though damaged mathematician.

Every time I use my computer I will think of Turing and how he was reduced to a zombie by a government who had problems with his lifestyle, but not his genius. Breaks my heart to realize what was done to the man who had more to do with modern computing than most anyone. Only in 2013 did the Queen give him the pardon he deserved for merely being a homosexual.

The mathematician Alan Turing is a British national hero, a key figure in breaking the German’s Enigma and his Turing Machine became the basis for modern computers. But he was prosecuted for homosexuality after the war and committed suicide because of his sentence. The bio-pic The Imitation Game sets out to tell the story of Britain’s codebreaking effort and the personal life of Turing.

Cumberbatch and Knightly are terrific here and I think I finally get her appeal. Usually I want to smack her or beg her to eat a sammich. Here I wanted her to succeed in a world where her intelligence was not appreciated or utilized to it's fullest potential. She is the heart of the tale of a man who has unlimited genius but no social skills. He sees her as his chance to reconnect with the world that he has rejected and she make the sacrifices necessary for him to get what HE wants. It's that selfishness that is wisely underemphasized. We get it that Turing was weird and the movie doesn't pound that fact over and over. Even assholes deserve some sympathy. The movie understands that.

For a biopic I like the way the story focuses on three time periods to show the main events and influences on Turing's life. The movement between one time and another is practically seamless and requires no reminders of who is who and when the story is occurring. This is one of those films that perfectly create a time and place.

I totally got caught up in the movie and will be pleased to see anyone, especially Cumberbatch, win something at the Oscars. I have a fear that this and The Theory of Everything will cancel each other out in the best picture category. But that picture is a discussion for tomorrow.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

My Rare One NEVER watches a movie more than once but we are going to "The Imitation Game" again today for the THIRD time. She has become a Cumberbitch.

Like you, I'm not a fan of Keira Knightly but I agree, she is good in this movie.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

He is quite good. This could have been another Sherlock but he played Turing as a different but just as difficult to be around human being.