Sunday, January 18

The Imitation Game

The Film Fatales watch Cumberbatch CumberCrack code. 

The Imitation Game. 2014. 114 Minutes. Rated R. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightley, Mark Strong, and Matthew Goode. Directed by Morten Tyldum.

Nominated for 8 Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Film.

During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians. [IMDb]

Nicole: Life is sometimes not fair. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? Life is "often" not fair. And so it can be said of Alan Turing's life. That name should resonate as one of the most important names in modern history; unfortunately, it doesn't. But perhaps all that is changing, what with celebrated biographies; not one, but two recent films; and a posthumous pardoning by Queen Elizabeth in 2013, it's been brought to the forefront just how brilliant a mathematician Turing was and how very much  our society owes him on so many levels. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

elizabeth:  I have to say that I did not know anything about Alan Turing and his life because of one word: Math. But once I started to read more about his life and the absolutely horrific behavior of others upon him, it got my attention and I wanted to see this movie. (Plus, Nicole was bugging me to go see her boyfriend play the role of Alan Turning.)

Nicole: Well, don't I have to sit through your boyfriend, Robert Redford's, movies? It's only fair. The Imitation Game centers primarily on the era of Alan Turing's life during which he built the machine that would eventually break the Nazi enigma code, thus ending WWII approximately two years earlier than anticipated. His genius was such that his magnificent invention and the execution of it remained top secret until fifty years after the war. And, so, Turing lived in relative obscurity for the remainder of his life until some nosy detective unwittingly uncovered details about Turing's private life. It may shock some of you to know that not very long ago people in the UK and other Western countries were put in prison or sentenced to mandatory chemical castration for acts of homosexuality, but that, in fact, is a very sad truth about our collective Western history. Such was Turing's fate. As a thank you for his service to his country, and the entire world ... not to mention developing what would become the computer... he was subjected to insane amounts of estrogen injections. He tolerated two years of this horrible sentence before he committed suicide. That's not a spoiler, btw. It's history.

elizabeth: It is very hard to write my review of this movie without getting a tad political. WTH? I think more people than not knew about the castration and the injections; people just didn’t care and as Dickens put it (more or less) it decreased the surplus population. No matter how brilliant this man was, they could not get over his personal choices. Like it was their business. Okay, back to the movie. Director Morten Tyldum put together an amazing cast of actors who brought you back in time to WWII. I think Kiera Knightley is in it for the long run and I, for one, can’t wait to see how she develops as an actress. Benedict Cumberbatch blew me away with his turn on Turing. His eyes spoke volumes and the pain he felt from feeling on the outside and the fear of being “found out” made me exhausted from knowing how this movie was going to turn out. The injustice of it all felt like a strong slap across my face.

Nicole: I could not agree more. Turing is brilliantly portrayed by the incredible Cumberbatch, who could sit on a folding chair on a blank set, read the phone book out loud...and audiences would be riveted. He is, by far, one of this generation's most talented actors. And, therefore, justly deserves all the accolades he's receiving for this role. (The Oscar will likely go to Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of another brilliant scientist, Stephen Hawking, in The Theory of Everything. But, mark my words...Cumberbatch's day will come.) If Turing could see this performance, and I'd like to think he can, he would greatly approve. And, I hope, it's some small recompense for the dishonor we treated him to while he lived.

elizabeth: I don’t think Benedict Cumberbatch has to worry about his day coming. It has. A statue of Oscar will not make his work better. It is already almost too good. And I applaud the man, Cumberbatch, who felt that the life of Alan Turning needed to be told and that he would talk to anyone about Turing so that praise and recognition will come to the man who made it possible for us to write our reviews on a computer.

Nicole: Lastly, I will say it was nice to sit beside Cassidy and share some tears as the credits rolled. It reminded me that she sometimes does have a human heart, despite all previous claims. (Cue sassy comeback in one...two...)

elizabeth: Yes, I do have a human heart. It is in the refrigerator.  

The Film Fatales give THE IMITATION GAME

Saturday, January 10

The Film Fatales Picks for Golden Globes 2015

The Film Fatales Up the Ante and Bet it All on Gold

It's the first major awards show to usher in Awards season...and it sets the precedent for the Oscars. So, what do this year's Golden Globes have in store? The Film Fatales offer you their best guess as to who will take home the gold.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
“The Imitation Game”  Nicole
“The Theory of Everything” elizabeth

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama

Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” elizabeth
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild” Nicole

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game” Nicole
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything” elizabeth

Best Picture — Comedy or Musical

“Birdman” Nicole, move over... --elizabeth
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“St. Vincent”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical

Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” Nicole. This is annoying. --elizabeth
Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars”
Quvenzhané Wallis, “Annie”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical

Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman” Nicole
Bill Murray, “St. Vincent”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice” elizabeth
Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood” elizabeth
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman” Nicole
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman” elizabeth
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher” Nicole
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Best Director — Motion Picture

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma” Nicole
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood” elizabeth

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” by Wes Anderson Nicole. Three times' a charm. --elizabeth
“Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn
“Birdman,” by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo
“Boyhood,” by Richard Linklater
“The Imitation Game,” by Graham Moore

Wednesday, January 7


The Film Fatales consider that there is indeed a theory of everything.

The Theory of Everything. 2014. PG-13. 123 minutes. Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Directed by James Marsh.

Nominated for four Golden Globes, including: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress.
A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife. [IMDb]

Nicole: In our daily lives, we tend to toss around the word "genius" with often, in fact, it tends to lose its true value and meaning. So few people truly deserve the moniker "genius." Stephen Hawking, however, is one who lives up to the definition. That's why I was anxious that's why I was anxious to see The Theory of Everything, as it offers us a glimpse into the private world and mind of a brilliant man.

elizabeth: To me, it sounded like a movie that went beyond equations and science and all that stuff that I will never ever understand even if Hawking was to spell it out to me. What got my attention was the love story between a man and a woman who were about to be dealt such devastating news and yet they were not deterred by it. They built a life together. A great message for all who cower in the corner because their computer is running slow.

Nicole: Eddie Redmayne literally becomes Hawking. And, the transformation is mesmerizing, if difficult to watch. It's a truly remarkable performance, both physically and artistically. And, Felicity Jones, as Jane, is also strong -- though in a completely different way. The two actors are well matched for the journey they must portray and they do so deftly and with elegance.

eizabeth: They were a modern day Tracy and Hepburn. Eddie Redmayne’s performance was flawless. You felt the subtle changes in his body and his eyes brought to life the soul of Stephen Hawking. It was just flawless.  Who needs words when an actor can show every motion with just a look or a small smile? Jane’s role played by Felicity Jones was awe inspiring. I am so glad the director let her make Jane as the strong and protective wife of Stephen – she was a force to contend with.  Jane handed Stephen his life back and the two did an amazing job in the years that they were married. I was all teary eyed and I am a tad surprised that Nicole did not announce that. I think she called me a “big baby.” Am not. 

Nicole: I did. I did indeed say it. It was payback for every time you said it to me -- especially during The Fault in Our Stars (still not over that movie, btw.) I wish only that this film contained a bit more science, but I can forgive the lack thereof for the sake of telling Hawking's little-known early life. Through this movie, he becomes a person -- instead of the icon we  revere with such esteem. We see him as he becomes the man we know today -- the man who exceeded everyone's expectations on so many levels.

elizabeth: I would have zoned out if they did any more science in the movie. I think what they had was just enough to hold the viewer’s attention.  I knew I was watching brilliant scientists, but I loved the story of the human beings so much more. I agree that Stephen Hawking is a man who loves and feels and did not give into his limitations. He rose above them all. Well done. 


Monday, January 5


The Film Fatales take part in one of the worst interviews of their lives.

The Interview. 2014. Rated R. 112 very long minutes. Starring Seth Rogan and James Franco. Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan (because this masterpiece took not one, but two, people to direct).

Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show "Skylark Tonight." When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission. [IMDb]

Nicole: Cassidy, I want to get this out of the way and apologize profusely for suggesting we see this movie. I figured with all of the press it's been getting, it would be a good film for us to comment on. After having watched it, I'd rather forget all about it and make believe it never happened, we are. Obligated to share our thoughts. I think I'll let you go first.

elizabeth: Truth be told, I did not sit through this POS to the end. As a woman, I was so insulted and I kept thinking while my disgust over the dialogue grew and grew and boiled over – could this be the movie that would cause us to be attacked again? Were people going to go to the movies and not come home? I get that there was major media hype going on over that knucklehead leader of North Korea and this movie’s theme, but when you live around 30 miles from where the Twin Towers went down, you might be a little hyper sensitive. What the hell were the writers thinking? My only hope is that their mothers will wash their brains out with soap.

Nicole: Unless everyone's been living under a rock, they know this is the movie North Korea got their pants all in a twist over. Why? Because the plot involves the CIA convincing an entertainment TV personality and his producer to "take out" Kim Jong Un during a live interview. Having sat through this crapfest, it astounds me that North Korea seriously thinks Seth Rogan and James Franco are legitimately threatening their leader's safety. Those two are too stoned half of the time to leave their apartments, never mind start a coup. What all this hoopla did accomplish was to turn a movie that probably would have only seen middling success into a successful box office venture.

elizabeth: Being a leader of a country does not mean you're a Rhodes Scholar. Look at our country’s choices. But none of them were mad men like Kim Jong Un. I think. Even if they changed the name of the leader and country, this is still one of the worse movies I have ever not watched to the end. So now I can say that I saw a movie for young boys whose testicles have not dropped yet.

Nicole: Look, I'm not averse to a crude joke or potty humor. I enjoy sophomoric humor on occasion. What I am averse to is a script that relies so heavily on crude humor and potty jokes because it's easy. Franco and Rogan need to go back to the school of Apatow and audit a few more classes before they make another movie. But, considering how much publicity this film has garnered, I'm sure we will be seeing another of their collaborations sooner than you can say "poop."

elizabeth: Oh crap. Say it ain’t so. 

The Film Fatales give THE INTERVIEW