The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum
In other words, the film is shameless Oscar-bait, and the fact that at the end of his life Turing ran afoul of the United Kingdom's draconian anti-homosexuality laws does not hurt as a hook for the politically minded members of the Academy. Since it is not good enough to win Best Picture, or at least it shouldn't, it could propel Benedict Cumberbatch a little closer to a shot at Best Actor, again without good reason. Since the BBC's Sherlock and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, when he first came to my attention, Cumberbatch has been in everything under the sun, including doing voice-overs for The Hobbit. He is a talented actor, but this is not his best work, relying on nervous tics, stereotypical more than individual, to give the appearance of idiosyncrasy, without the distinctive mania of his Sherlock Holmes, for example.
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In fact, none of the performances are all that memorable, which is partly due to the screenplay, which simplifies most of the characters down to stereotypes. Keira Knightley is more controlled than in her over-the-top turn in A Dangerous Method, and Matthew Goode (Death Comes to Pemberley) is a handsome Hugh Alexander, the leader of the Enigma team. Allen Leech (Downton Abbey) and Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) round out the top-secret project, led by Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) as the growling military commander who oversees it. One of the more beautifully handled subplots is in glimpses back to Turing's public school days, where the young Turing (Alex Lawther, who also played the young Britten in Benjamin Britten: Peace and Conflict) suffers horrific bullying and falls in love with another student (Jack Bannon). For all of its inaccuracies, the movie does an admirable job keeping its somewhat jagged narrative line, split between the childhood, Bletchley Park, and post-war phases of Turing's life, clear for the viewer.