The cinema listings haven’t fallen kindly for the 2015 Oscar contenders with The Imitation Game getting shafted in the schedule thanks to overplayed dross like Taken 3 and Into the Woods. I managed to catch it on the last weekend of its run and thank the gods that I did.
The Imitation Game is based on a true story and in keeping with tradition I did no prior research into the events prior to seeing the film. In a shock twist to normal proceedings Alan Turing was such an interesting individual I confess I did look him up when I got home.
PLOT: During WW2 Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his team of mathematicians work together to invent a machine capable of cracking the encrypted messages of the Nazis. END PLOT
The events at Bletchley Park are told through flashbacks and despite knowing that Alan Turing would be successful in his task The Imitation Game is a genuinely stressful film. Who would have guessed that watching small wheels turn on a big machine would create so much tension? Despite the code cracking excitement The Imitation Game is very much a character driven film and I became invested enough in the story to be absolutely devastated at how Turing's life turned out.
Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent as Alan Turing and my worry that I wouldn’t be able to see beyond Sherlock Holmes was unnecessary. Turing was a conflicted and complex character but Cumberbatch brought his story to life with what appeared to be minimal effort. This performance hasn’t done Cumberbatch's career any harm whatsoever.
Although The Imitation Game is Cumberbatch’s film he is supported by Kiera Knightley, Mark Strong and Charles Dance who all put in impressive performances. Knightley deserves her supporting actress nod and although I very much doubt she will win it keeps her status as one of the top young British actresses intact.
The Imitation Game clocks in at just under two hours but the story is so rich it was a shame that the film didn't last longer. It might have been interesting to see what happened to the rest of Turing's team after the war ended but I suppose that wasn't really what the film was about.
The Imitation Game is an effective thriller with a surprising amount of heart. It will undoubtedly be overlooked in the acting categories but this should not take away from the fact that it is a very well made and thoroughly enjoyable film. It gets 8/10 and will be a welcome addition to my dvd collection.