The Imitation Game
Winter 2015 Features series
Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 7:00pm
Directed by Morten Tyldum
Screenplay by Graham Moore
Based on the book by Andrew Hodges
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, and Matthew Goode
Rated PG ·
USA / UK
In Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s (Headhunters) English-language debut, Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years a Slave, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) stars as brilliant Cambridge mathematician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, who spearheaded the Enigma code-breaking operation during World War II and was later persecuted by the British government for his homosexuality.
At Cambridge University, the young Turing quickly establishes himself as a groundbreaking thinker with his theories about the potential of computing machines. When war between Britain and Germany is declared, these theories are put into active practice. Turing easily passes a test to become a member of a top-secret group assigned to decode critical German naval communications. Much to the surprise of the commanding officers, so does a woman, Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley, Begin Again, Anna Karenina). Turing and Clarke become fast friends, and are soon engaged to be married. But Turing is gay, struggling with his identity at a time when it is illegal and subject to terrible punishment.
Cumberbatch plays Turing as a mercurial character, unafraid of his quirks and brashly proud of his intellect. Knightley’s Clarke is his equal—for all his insight into the workings of consciousness, she may understand him better than he does himself. The meeting of their minds does not result in a conventional love story, but The Imitation Game does chronicle a remarkable relationship while Turing and his colleagues race against time.
“Dominating it all is Cumberbatch, whose charisma, tellingly modulated and naturalistic array of eccentricities, Sherlockian talent at indicating a mind never at rest and knack for simultaneously portraying physical oddness and attractiveness combine to create an entirely credible portrait of genius at work.” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter)
“A superb thriller and a worthy biopic of a real hero. It’s also simultaneously an encouraging follow-up for Headhunters’ Morten Tyldum, an impressive debut for screenwriter Graham Moore, and a big-screen career highlight for Benedict Cumberbatch.” (Dan Jollin, Empire)