Now the great thing about this time of year is that there are a ton of films that come out that will often be nominated for best picture at the Oscars. However, we, on a lot of occasions do need to wait a month or so to get most of these titles in Britain, but you will hear about the hype and you will go and see them when they come out and one film that seems to be getting a ton of hype is this weeks film, the ‘Imitation Game’.
This film is already tipped to be a front runner to potentially win best picture at the Oscars along with ‘Boyhood’, ‘Bird Man’ and ‘Selma’, and Benedict Cumberbatch has already been hyped to win an Oscar for his part in the film, so I felt it was necessary to check out the film when getting back into my reviews (plus it was a good excuse not to review ‘Hunger Games’). So after watching it, do I believe it matches up to its hype, you’d better believe it, this film matches up to the hype very much.
The films plot centres on telling the story of Alan Turing and his true life story of his attempts to break the enigma code and win World War 2. The film tells this story from 3 viewpoints, one taking place in 1928 when Turing was a younger man, one during the Second World War and one in 1951 around the time Turing was being investigated for reasons that are explained in the film, and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Now initially you get the sense that these three plot points are going to be difficult to follow and won’t transition well together, but it’s surprisingly easy to follow and works very well. All three points are told brilliantly and the cutting back between them works to create a satisfying whole. The film is paced almost perfectly and the story is really given the time to flow brilliantly.
Needless to say this film’s story is brilliant, it will grip you throughout its running time. It’s never dull or boring and it never feels like it drags especially considering this film runs at 114 minutes which is much shorter than most films which are clearly aiming for an Oscar which can often have the issue of struggling to keep peoples attention for a long running time. The film also brilliantly gets people attached to the characters especially considering that these are all based on ‘real extraordinary people’, in recent history. This film’s story also has a ton of ‘heart’. I really get a sense that the Directors and the Writers really concentrated on telling a story that would brilliantly reflect these peoples lives and the fact that this story was pretty much “Classified” for 50 Years!, which is referenced very well by how secretive the operation is throughout the entire film and this secretive nature does not feel down like in some films that handle this sort of storyline. You feel the weight and necessity of this project! So, to sum up, this is an excellent story, it’s definitely at the minute, my vote for potentially winning best adapted screenplay at both the Oscars and the BAFTA’s.
Acting wise, well this film had several stand out performances, all of which I suspect we will be seeing a lot of come award season, but the big hype has been Benedict Cumberbatch’s role as the main character of Alan Turing. I will say going into this film I feared that Benedict Cumberbatch was becoming too typecast, seeing how a lot of his roles have become slightly samey, taking for example his performance as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, feeling very similar to his Sherlock performance, however, this film has given him a chance to shine and break away from a lot of those elements that may have caused this thought. He plays the role brilliantly, and whilst it does seem quite similar to his ‘Sherlock’ persona, he plays it differently enough that you’re not just seeing ‘Sherlock’ on screen, you are seen Alan Turing! He plays the character kind of similar to the idea of a serious version of ‘Sheldon’ from the ‘Big Bang Theory” initially, but there’s a lot more depth given to the character later on. He’s played rather like a character who is completely separated from society and living in his own world, but he has a thousand thoughts going on in a minute and you believe he can act upon them at any time, but he is also throughout the film learning to build on the relationships and trust people and that extra level of humanity that Benedict brings to the role through a few humorous lines here or there that really sells it.
I have no objection to Benedict Cumberbatch winning the Oscar for best actor, although my personal pick at this point in time is still Michael Fassbender for his role in Frank. As for the rest of the cast, well, they all do a brilliant job, there isn’t a bad performance in this movie. Keira Knightley starts off in a position where I thought I was going to have some negative thoughts about, but she gets much better throughout the film, and I loved her performance overall. It’s a breath of fresh air considering her performances in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which left me feeling cold as well as questionable roles in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ sequels. Matthew Goode does a very good role as fellow collaborator Hugh Alexander and you get a sense that he is a man that wants to do his duty but struggles to work with Alan Turing. Charles Dance does an excellent performance although he isn’t in the film as much as I would have liked him to have been, though I don’t know if it would have benefited much with his role being over exposed potentially. Whilst I am at it I also really enjoyed Mark Strong in this film, he’s really selling himself in this serious role which is kind of bizarre for me as I associate him with some of his more less serious or comedy roles such as his performance in ‘Kick Ass’. Overall this story was written very well is sold brilliantly by its cast and each one of them deserves special praise.
I would also, in this review, like to praise the film’s editing, the film does a brilliant job inter cutting the various time periods that the film takes place in, but it also shows the effect of World War 2 very well for its shots and it’s use of the stock footage. It’s also the only area where I found a negative to this film, which is, the scenes of warfare and the blitz left a lot to be desired. They weren’t bad per say, it’s just the ‘computer effects’ for them were quite obviously “computer effects” and I felt at times they would be better suited in a video game than an actual big budget film. As I said they aren’t bad, but they are kind of distracting and if it’s the only negative you have for this film then you know you could definitely do worse and the point kind of cancels itself out. Another brilliant positive aspect is the set design and the way the shots are produced. You will ‘believe’ that this film takes place in World War 2, this doesn’t feel like your average period drama and that is saying a lot considering that this is a film that has to sell the World War 2 setting using very little of actual battles or conflict.
Now, Dr Buchan, who is Axia ASD’s Ltd Director did manage to get a day off and was interested enough in the film to go and see it with me, which I welcomed as I like getting different perspectives on the same film, but we came out with very similar thoughts on the film. Her position was that she loved the film, found it very thought provoking and without giving away spoilers found the ending very emotional. Which if I am honest I didn’t have as much of an emotional reaction with the end, not because I didn’t bond with the characters that much, I very much did, but because I had done my research on the man involved and knew where this was going, so there wasn’t much surprise or weight of ambiguity. I knew where this film was going because of my research, but it still on a lot of levels hit very hard. I am not going to give it away you’re just going to have to see the movie to find out what I mean.
Do I have any really negative points, well actually NO!! This isn’t like ‘Pride’ where I really struggled and really pricked my brain to nit pick the film to find negatives. I really, apart from some of the computer shots to do with the battles can’t think of anything and to be honest most of my criticism’s of ‘Pride’ I probably would have taken out of that review in hindsight. But that’s how these sort of things often go when you are writing your reviews based on your initial thoughts.
To sum up. This film is gloriously good. I loved almost every second of it. It had excellent writing, an excellent cast and just was a delight to sit through on a lot of levels. If this film is not nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars it is doing itself an injustice. If you haven’t been to the pictures to see this, then go and see it. Hell if you don’t want to go to the cinema to, then get this on DVD as soon as it comes out. It is excellent and Benedict Cumberbatch is really going places with his acting career. It makes me glad that he had been cast as Dr Strange in the upcoming Marvel movie and he has also been cast as Shere Khan in the Jungle Book remake, so we the audience are winning all the way.
If you agree or disagree on this film and my opinion, please feel free to leave a comment it’s great to get a discussion going, we accept all opinions, all points, no matter how long or brief they are.
Well I’m afraid we are going to have to take a slightly longer period to get the next review out as Axia is going on it’s Christmas Holiday for a bit, but I’m not waiting a long time for the next review.
Check back on the site on December 31st when I’ll be reviewing Tim Burton’s latest film ‘Big Eyes’. If you want to go and see the film before my review, it comes out in cinemas on December 26th, and trust me, I think this is going to be a good one. Also check out that review if you want to get details on how to add your own reviews, discussion or top ten lists to the site. We will be giving you all the details that you need and explaining exactly what we are looking for.
Thanks for reading my review. I hope you’ll return to the website in the future.
Calvin – Nerd ConsultantShare This Post: