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Posts Tagged ‘Morten Tyldum’

Last night I attended the European premier of The Imitation Game.  This isn’t entirely true, the European premier at The Odeon Leicester Square doubled as the opening film the 58th BFI London Film Festival.  It was simultaneously screened across the country at 30 cinemas.  While the stars squelched down the red carpet in pouring rain I was sat 120 miles away in the comfort of Cineworld Birmingham.  Given the absence of a large film festival anywhere in the UK outside London and Edinburgh I jumped at the chance of seeing the film over a month before its general release.The Imitation Game European premier

By way of introduction, Alan Turing was a British mathematician and computer scientist. An early pioneer of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” he is regarded as the farther of computing, his “Turing machine” is considered a forerunner of what we now know as a computer.  During World War II he worked at Bletchley Park, Britain’s code-breaking centre. As the head of “Hut 8” he was largely responsible for cracking Naval Enigma.  Winston Churchill is believed to have said Turing made the “single biggest contribution to Allied victory”. A decade later he committed suicide after being persecuted by the authorities for being homosexual, a crime at the time.Alan Turing

I first became aware of Alan Turing in the late 90’s when I read Robert Harris’ excellent novel Enigma (published in 1995 and made into a film of the same name in 2001).  A fictional account of the battle to decrypt Enigma.  Although fictional the film gives a good overview of the exploits of the cryptanalysts of Bletchley Park and encouraged me to read more of the true story that was just becoming public knowledge fifty years after the fact.

Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly cast as Alan Turing and to the films credit isn’t afraid of showing the antisocial and socially awkward side of his character.  His performance is heartfelt and convincing making it captivating.  The supporting cast is excellent with Matthew Goode and Mark Strong being as good as ever and Keira Knightley proving her critics wrong again.the imitation game

Based on Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges and directed by Morten Tyldum (best known for Headhunters (2011)).  The film is well paced and constructed but does suffer from a lack of focus.  Told in flashback from his arrest for indecency (for being gay) in 1951 to his school days and his exploits during the war.  The film doesn’t know if it wants to be a biography of Turing or a story of the cracking of Enigma.  Personally I would have liked to have seen one or the other, either a full bio-pic or a more in depth look at the Bletchley Park years.  Anyone who has read up on the subject will learn little from the movie and are likely to enjoy it as a film, but those with little or no knowledge it is perfect introduction.the imitation game cast

Not without its faults, but an enjoyable and informative film and a fitting tribute (largely thanks to a monumental performance from Benedict Cumberbatch) to a British war hero who is finally getting the recognition he deserves.  Well worth checking out when it goes on general release 14 November 2014. 

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As we pass the halfway point of the year one of my most anticipated films for a long time, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has just opened and I will be watching it sometime this week. The end of the month sees The Avengers universe expand a little further with Guardians of the Galaxy, but what am I looking forward to for the rest of the year. Here are a few:

The Rover: Director: David Michôd: 15 August 2014 – Australia, 10 years after a global economic collapse, a man goes after the people who stole his only possession, his car. A sort of neorealist Mad Max.The Rover

A Most Wanted Man: Director: Anton Corbijn: 12 September 2014 – Political thriller based on a John le Carré’s novel. Sadly one of the last films to star the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.A Most Wanted Man

Kingsman: The Secret Service: Director: Matthew Vaughn: 17th October 2014 – Vaughn and long time collaborator Jane Goldman adapted comic book about a veteran secret agent and a young recruit.Kingsman The Secret Service

Gone Girl: Director David Fincher: 3rd October 2014 – A man reports his wife missing only to become the prime suspect. Adapted from a bestselling novel.Gone Girl

The Homesman: Director Tommy Lee Jones: 3rd October 2014 – A road/trail movie in the old west, Tommy Lee Jones stars as well as directs.The Homesman

Interstellar: Director Christopher Nolan: 7th November 2014 – Space travel and wormholes and things like that, we can’t be sure because its Christopher Nolan, we don’t care because its Christopher Nolan!Interstellar

The Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 1: Director Francis Lawrence: 21st November 2014 – The first part of the final part of The Hunger Games, the revolution starts here.The Hunger Games Mockingjay

Unbroken: Director: Angelina Jolie: 26 December 2014 – True story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic runner and WWII POW.Unbroken

The Imitation Game: Director: Morten Tyldum: 14 November 2014 – The true and ultimately tragic story of Alan Turing, one of the men responsible for cracking the Enigma code during World War II.??????????????????

Snowpiercer: Director: Joon-ho Bong: Date TBA – The remnants of humanity fight a class war on , a train that travels around the globe. (on my list of anticipated films 18 months ago, I hope to see it this year).Snowpiercer

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