When The Imitation Game begins, it asks audiences if they’re paying attention. Even from those first few scenes, audiences will find it hard to look away from Benedict Cumberbatch’s incredible performance as Alan Turing, a British mathematician in 1940s. Turing is a legend for two reasons: He developed a machine that cracked the Nazis’ encryption code (helping bring an end to World War II), and he was arrested and convicted by the British government for being gay. Instead of jail time he opted for “chemical castration” – a decision that later lead to his suicide.
The Imitation Game provides flashblacks to Turing’s childhood while following him throughout his work in World War II at Bletchley Park (England’s secret operation). It’s a powerful film that provides rather moving insight into one of the unsung heroes of World War II.
Benedict Cumberbatch does an absolutely incredible job here bringing an authenticity to the character that is undeniable. Embracing the genius of Turing along with his socially awkward personality, Cumberbatch is freakishly in touch with this character. Along side Cumberbatch is Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke – who is a brilliant mind as well. Overall, it’s solid acting and directing paired with a great script. You really can’t ask for more.
The Imitation Game is one of my favorite films of 2014, and without doubt, it will be one of the Oscar contenders as we move into award season. In a year of rather lackluster films, this one is a breath of fresh air that reminds you of what cinema should be.