Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: The Imitation Game

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

The Imitation Game (StudioCanal [UK], The Weinstein Company [US])

The Imitation Game Poster

Directed by Morten Tyldum

Written by Graham Moore  Based on Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

Starring Benedict CumberbatchKeira KnightleyMatthew GoodeRory KinnearCharles Dance & Mark Strong

I see a lot of good movies at this time every year. It is easy to overlook the merits of a few because of the sheer number of bad-ass, fantastic works of art. The Imitation Game is one of those movies. It doesn’t even compare to most of the Oscar nominees for best picture. It’s a good enough story and Benedict Cumberbatch gives us a truly inspired performance but… The movie isn’t close to as good as Boyhood. And Benedict is good but Eddie Redmayne’s eyebrows in Theory of Everything are the sensation that wins the crown. The Imitation Game is good but not the best. But still very very good.

Verdict: SPARED

Alan Turing and Christopher

The Imitation game is about the grandfather of the modern computer Alan Turing. He was a homosexual but that was not his handicap. This movie can at times confuse his real handicap from this… his… nature. If there is one thing that truly annoyed me about The Imitation Game it is this.

Matthew Goode in The Imitation Game

In the Imitation Game, Alan Turing is a compassionate sociopath. I can relate because so am I. He has a hard time deciphering the code of human interaction. Not because he can’t. But because he doesn’t want to. Because he can’t make sense of why. And I can relate.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing

In The Imitation Game, Alan Turing is a genius who recognizes that without a puzzle in front of him, life can be somewhat maddening. So he volunteers to break the German code used to send troop movements and orders during WWII. He wants to win the war. Not because it will save lives but because he’s bored and likes puzzles.

Charles Dance

In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch leads the way with a masterful portrayal of the great and clearly misunderstood Mr. Turing but there are other great performances. Charles Dance as his nemesis. Keira Knightley as his beard – fiancé – colleague, as well as the rest of a fine cast. Great performances all around.

Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch

In The Imitation Game, there are three congruent stories being told from three separate times in Alan’s life. When he was a school lad and first discovered his sexual proclivity, when he is an older man after the war and being investigated for homosexuality (a crime). And the main story-line that takes place during the war as he and his team try to crack the German Enigma code. It’s a good movie but I’ve seen a bunch of those lately. The Imitation Game wasn’t good enough to make me forget the others. I still see Birdman, Whiplash, Boyhood and The Theory of Everything when I close my eyes at night. I won’t remember The Imitation Game past this review. It’s a good film, it just came along at a time when we have some of the best examples of film-making that we’ve had in a long time in theaters right now..

The Imitation Game is a good movie in a year of great movies.

– Mel


7 thoughts on “Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: The Imitation Game

  1. Not a fan of this one. Felt like a bunch of cliches piled atop each other in order to appeal to the masses and to the Oscar voters, and the writers didn’t thoroughly engage with Turing–who was a fascinating person in real life with a fascinating story–beyond those dull cliches.

    “In the Imitation Game, Alan Turing is a compassionate sociopath. I can relate because so am I. He has a hard time deciphering the code of human interaction. Not because he can’t. But because he doesn’t want to. Because he can’t make sense of why. And I can relate.”

    The thing about this is that by real life accounts, he was actually well liked by his co-workers and could talk to people. The movie dumbed him down to fit its mold of a “socially inept genius”, and that really does a disservice to his memory. I normally don’t get angry about historical inaccuracies, but this is a reflection of the larger problem surrounding the handling of the character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a very depressing story. He gets no love at any point in his life. In the end he is chemically castrated for being gay. At its core he single-handedly wins the war but gets no recognition. And in the beginning, the first love of his life is taken away from him. When exactly did you cry? JK. Boyhood is a strange one because if you don’t get that thing where you’re reliving your own life while you’re watching it, It’s just an average film. But if that happens to you while you’re watching it you sit there and you go “Wow. Did they just do that to me? Woooooooooow.”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah..I def. think Boyhood is for boys.. it even says so in the title.. 🙂 But seriously..I saw it was back last June with Linklater & everyone there for the Q & A..I did no research on it before I I had no idea how long it was & got up at least 3x as I thought it was over..because it could have been.. I fell in love with the idea of it as I was watching..but for me it was a average film with a brilliant idea.. my friends thought the same and they were 3 guys..who related to it more..but still thought it too long & average..and I truly think that’s what many are in love with. just my thought on it.


    • He’s good in it. He’s like Sherlock Holmes but less confident. It’s a good performance. You girl, Kiera Knightley is very good and made me almost cry with her performance. I think she was nominated again. I hope you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

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