The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014)

What's it about? The story of Alan Turing, the genius who helped crack the Nazi Enigma code during WWII, only to be persecuted in later years for his homosexuality.



Is it any good? The story is so good, you'd have to try hard to mess it up completely (although that didn't stop the makers of Engima back in 2001). Anyhow, this is a solidly assembled piece, relying heavily on an affecting performance by Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing to overcome a slightly clunky framing device and narration. It has drew criticism for playing around with hard facts, but screenwriter Graham Moore, who won a slightly surprising Best Adapted Screenplay for his work here, has argued that the film remains true to the overall story and character. I'm inclined to agree with that, but it's a pity the makers don't trust the audiences with a little more intelligence here - rather than find a way to make the work and breakthroughs of Turing (and his team) accessible, they simply present him as some sort of autistic Rainman type, unable to articulate his views to others. It does him and his methods a bit of a disservice and will no doubt leave some viewers a little frustrated at the dumbing-down of the science and work involved. In the end, it's unlikely to stick long in the memory as a film, but if it inspires folk to read a little more about the work and legacy of Turing, it's done some good.

Anything else I should know? Well, on that note, you can read all about the fact vs fiction of Turing's life and work here. You really should, you know.

I don't trust you. What do others think? It seems not everyone is happy that Turing - a mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence - ever turned his hand to science. If you're using a computer to read this, best be careful.


Maybe, but that sign doesn't look hand-written

What does the Fonz think? I give it 0111 out of 1010





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