TIFF 2014: The Imitation Game Review

The Imitation Game

Special Presentations

Benedict Cumberbatch carries the day in a role that feels almost custom made for the sort of droll loner act he has been perfecting across his past several films and his hit TV series, Sherlock. Only this time, he’s certain to get some award season buzz because he’s playing noted cryptologist, mathematician, and inventor of the modern computer Alan Turing.

Focusing primarily on Turing being brought in to crack the code behind the brilliantly designed German Enigma Machine during the Second World War, director Morton Tyldum (Headhunters) delivers a stately looking, no frills character study about how Turing wasn’t much of a team player and how he remained a closeted homosexual during his entire run with the British military.



The focus on Turing not playing nicely with others is great for Cumberbatch, but not so great for his co-stars. Matthew Goode and Kiera Knightley appear as fellow members of the intelligence squad (with the latter at one point agreeing to be Turing’s beard), but they have very little to do outside of scenes that establish their characters. Of the supporters only Mark Strong (as Turing’s contact in MI:6) gets a chance to break away from the film’s stringent focus.

Still, Turing is an interesting enough historical figure, and the film does right by him.


Wednesday, September 10th, 3:00pm, Princess of Wales


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