The other day I saw The Imitation Game. In a word -- tremendous.
In more words, this is the little-known story (unknown -- even in its native England -- until only very recently) of Alan Turing, a mathematics genius and somewhat of a social misfit who largely cracked the unbreakable Enigma Code of the Germans, which is believed to have been central to the Allies winning WWII, shortened the war by two years, and saved up to 14 million lives. But the story is more than about that -- though that alone is riveting -- as it tells Turing's personal story, as a homosexual at a time in England when that was a crime. How he dealt with that and how it was dealt with by the British helps round the film out to much more than a great spy thriller.
It works on every level -- the writing by Graham Moore is smart and gripping and thoughtful and never lags, whichever part of the story it's dealing with (told at three different times). It's an incredibly impressive feature film debut -- his only other real credit is one episode of the TV series, 10 Things I Hate About You. The direction by Morten Tyldum keeps everything moving, yet stays significantly personal It's a rich, atmospheric production. And all the acting is terrific and understated, starting with Benedict Cumberbatch, and including Keira Knightley and the wonderful Charles Dance as a military commander.
There's some nice humor that fits impeccably out of the dialogue, and several twists and turns. So, I shall say no more. Other than, again, it's quite wonderful.
This is the British trailer. Like the U.S. one, it focuses more on the spy code angle, than gives a full sense of the film, but it does a better job of it.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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