Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Imitation Game

2014 - Dir Morton Tyldrum - 1 hour 44 minutes. Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 28th November, 2015

This is, incredibly, the first English language film to be directed by Mortem Tyldum, hitherto best known for his Norwegian thriller Headhunters. It’s a directing masterclass down to the smallest details. A cracklingly taught thriller mixing searing tension with raw emotion - and pivoting on the hot property actor of the moment. In days gone by movie heroes were dashing, handsome, womanising hunks who in the main played themselves. Here we have a classical actor with a strange name playing an oddball genius - and a gay oddball at that - in an incredibly popular film. How times have changed…
There has been much debate in the press about the accuracy of the Enigma story but the fact remains that this is a superb portrayal of a man who did his utmost to make it possible for the allies to win the war, saving thousands, if not millions, of lives in the process - and who, when it was all over, was shamefully treated by the authorities. It would be comforting to think that it couldn’t happen now.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Alan Turing are actually related in real-life. the two are 17th cousins with family relations dating back to the 14th century. Both are said to be related to John Beaufort, the first Earl of Somerset.
Alex Lawther, who plays the young Turing, and Benedict Cumberbatch wear dentures in the film which are exact copies of Alan Turing's own 60-year old set of false teeth. 
Alan Turing is shown running on various occasions and although it’s never mentioned in the movie, he was a world class distance runner with a personal marathon time of 2:46:03, achieved in 1946. 
This film went on general release in the UK on November 14th. Coventry was blitzed by the Luftwaffe on the same day in 1940. It is thought that plans for the attack had been discovered by the Bletchley Park code breakers but no action was taken to stop it because the Government were worried that such action would disclose the fact that the Enigma code had already been broken.

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