The Imitation Game
Acting
Directing
Script
Cinematography
Timeless
3.3Overall Score

And the travel to the theatre continues…what an enjoyable time of the year this is. You literally HAVE to watch movies, what else could one be wishing for. Snow maybe…oh yes, it is snowing. Ok, I am getting slightly off topic here … So there it was the next heavy hitter which had to be watched before the big night – nominated by the Academy in exactly 8 categories including best picture, best director, best actor in a leading role and best actress in a supporting role….plus it had an impressive 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. So it had to be something big … and my first impression is one which I have written often before: it was good but it was not great by any means even though it could have very well been.

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Courtesy of http://vavawoom.com

To explain why, I will have to dive into some spoilers, so if you don’t want to read about that, you may want to stop reading now. My first idea when I heard about this movie and watched the trailer was: “Hmm, I’m not sure if the world really needs another WWII movie but well it seems somewhat different, and I do kind of like Benedict Cumberbatch”. So that and all the arguments above did push me into a) watching it and b) expect a rather decent movie. And in fact, the movie does not necessarily hit too much into the WWII curb (which may have been a little old) but attempts in the beginning to depict the main character Alan Turning as a more serious 1940s version of Sheldon Cooper. It portrays the awkwardness of his genius and how is much smarter than anyone else but also much more awkward – which may be his biggest obstacle on his mission. And his mission is no less than to build a machine which can basically end the war and free the world of Nazi Germany. Plus this very machine could become something like a computer (which was somewhat of a science fiction dream in the 1940s)…all very ambitious goals. Of course in the process of doing so, he meets a woman who is almost equally smart and a little weird but of course pretty and well, they fall for each other…kind of in a Sheldon-Cooper-Mary-Farrah-Fowler way – but again more serious. Quite frankly, everything what happened so far is nothing new and groundbreaking. We have already seen this type of story (minus building a computer) a few years back in a much better movie called “A Beautiful Mind” (which only received 75% …?). But then more or less all of a sudden (PS: here comes the spoiler) the movie diverts its mission … it becomes a statement for fair treatment of gay rights. And it is not just a subtle sub context, no it enters the story completely from left field and then it all of a sudden becomes the main theme.

And here is where my criticism starts and where the movie – in my mind – starts failing. It attempts to do too much. It combines the depiction of the types of humans we love to watch so much these days – the nerds – in a WWII scenario with a little bit of weird romance alongside an advocacy for gay rights. I may be the only one here but I do think that is a tad much for 114 minutes which by the way seemed a lot longer. Don’t get me wrong, the real story of Alan Turning (and I only read the wikipedia article) is truly unique and he is a person who deserves a spot in history as his achievements were truly incredible but in the end throwing all these elements into one pot is just too much. All in all, the movie does combine some good elements; both Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly do both deliver a good performances but I really don’t believe that they deserved that much attention from the academy. I am not through with my final best picture verdict but I can say for certain that this film neither deserves best picture nor best director. It ultimately was a movie which was good to have watched but also a movie which I will forget in a few days or maybe even tomorrow.

The Good

  • Truly inspiring story based on real events
  • Solid performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
  • Great sidekicks with Charles Dance and Mark Strong

The Bad

  • The movie aims too high and fails to tell the story in an interesting enough manner
  • Not too much connection with the characters

 

Info

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  • Running time: 114 min
  • Genre: Drama,Biopic
  • Year: 2014

 

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