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


  1. Absolutely brilliant review.
    You both make me smile :)
    E. I cannot believe your heart is in the fridge...more like in the FIRE))!!
    And btw, I'm in LOVE w/ Cumberbatch! xx

  2. what's not to love? ;p --nicole