‘The Imitation Game’ review: turning Alan Turing’s life into a code-breaking thriller

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The film’s screenplay topped the annual Black List for best unproduced Hollywood scripts in 2011. 7 million in February 2014, the highest amount ever paid for U. The Imitation Game was a commercial and critical success. 14 million production budget, making it the highest-grossing independent film of 2014. The film was criticised by some for its inaccurate portrayal of historical events and Turing’s character and relationships. However, the LGBT civil rights advocacy and political lobbying organization the Human Rights Campaign honoured The Imitation Game for bringing Turing’s legacy to a wider audience.

In 1952, two policemen, Nock and Staehl, investigate the mathematician Alan Turing after an apparent break-in at his home. During his interrogation by Nock, Turing tells of his time working at Bletchley Park during World War II. In 1927, the young Turing is unhappy and bullied at boarding school. He develops a friendship with Christopher Morcom, who sparks his interest in cryptography. Turing develops romantic feelings for him, but he dies from tuberculosis. When Britain declares war on Germany in 1939, Turing travels to Bletchley Park.

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Under the direction of Commander Alastair Denniston, he joins the cryptography team of Hugh Alexander, John Cairncross, Peter Hilton, Keith Furman and Charles Richards. After Denniston refuses to fund construction of the machine, Turing writes to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who puts Turing in charge of the team and funds the machine. Turing’s machine, which he names Christopher, is constructed, but cannot determine the Enigma settings before the Germans reset the Enigma encryption each day. Denniston orders it destroyed and Turing fired, but the other cryptographers threaten to leave if Turing goes. After Clarke plans to leave on the wishes of her parents, Turing proposes marriage, which she accepts. During their reception, Turing confirms his homosexuality to Cairncross, who warns him to keep it secret. Turing discovers that Cairncross is a Soviet spy.

When Turing confronts him, Cairncross argues that the Soviets are allies working for the same goals, and threatens to retaliate by disclosing Turing’s sexuality. When the MI6 agent Stewart Menzies appears to threaten Clarke, Turing reveals that Cairncross is a spy. Menzies reveals he knew this already, and planted Cairncross to leak messages to the Soviets for British benefit. In the 1950s Turing is convicted of gross indecency and, in lieu of a jail sentence, undergoes chemical castration so he can continue his work. Clarke visits him in his home and witnesses his physical and mental deterioration.

She comforts him by saying that his work saved millions of lives. Before Cumberbatch joined the project, Warner Bros. Principal photography began on 15 September 2013 in Britain. The bombe seen in the film is based on a replica of Turing’s original machine, which is housed in the museum at Bletchley Park.

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However, production designer Maria Djurkovic admitted that her team made the machine more cinematic by making it larger and having more of its internal mechanisms visible. The film’s title refers to Turing’s proposed test of the same name, which he discussed in his 1950 paper on artificial intelligence entitled “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”. 7 million in February 2014, the highest amount ever paid for US distribution rights at the European Film Market. In June 2014, it was announced that Alexandre Desplat would provide the original score of the film. It was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London. Alan, and he’s meeting with the professor who’s telling him his friend Christopher is dead, and the camera is pushing in on him, I play Christopher’s theme that we heard very early on in the film. It’s the accumulation of these moments that I can slowly but surely play that make it even stronger.

The score received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score, losing to the score of The Grand Budapest Hotel, also composed by Desplat. Following the Royal Pardon granted by the British government to Turing on 24 December 2013, the filmmakers released the first official promotional photograph of Cumberbatch in character beside Turing’s bombe. Princeton University Press and Vintage Books both released film tie-in editions of Andrew Hodges’s biography Alan Turing: The Enigma in September 2014. The first UK and US trailers were released on 22 July 2014. In November 2014, the Weinstein Company co-hosted a private screening of the film with Digital Sky Technologies billionaire Yuri Milner and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The bombe re-created by the filmmakers has been on display in a special The Imitation Game exhibition at Bletchley Park since 10 November 2014. The year-long exhibit features clothes worn by the actors and props used in the film. The official film website at theimitationgamemovie. Google, which sponsored the New York Premiere of the film, launched a competition called “The Code-Cracking Challenge” on 23 November 2014. It is a skill contest where entrants must crack a code provided by Google. In November 2014, ahead of the film’s US release, The New York Times reprinted the original 1942 crossword puzzle from The Daily Telegraph used in recruiting codebreakers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

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The film had its world premiere at the 41st Telluride Film Festival in August 2014, and played at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival in September. The Imitation Game was released on 31 March 2015 in the United States in two formats: a one-disc standard DVD and a Blu-ray with a digital copy of the film. It was the top-grossing independent film release of 2014. Its opening box office figure was the third highest opening weekend haul for a British film in 2014. 119,352 per-screen-average, the second highest per-screen-average of 2014 and the 7th highest of all time for a live-action film.

258 reviews, with an average rating of 7. The site’s critical consensus reads, “With an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch illuminating its fact-based story, The Imitation Game serves as an eminently well-made entry in the ‘prestige biopic’ genre. Rex Reed declared that “one of the most important stories of the last century is one of the greatest movies of 2014”. Kaleem Aftab of The Independent gave the film a five-star review, hailing it the “Best British Film of the Year”.

Cumberbatch’s performance was met with widespread acclaim from critics. While praising the performances of Cumberbatch and Knightley, Catherine Shoard of The Guardian stated that the film is “too formulaic, too efficient at simply whisking you through and making sure you’ve clocked the diversity message”. Tim Robey of The Telegraph described it as “a film about a human calculator which feels  a little too calculated”. Despite earlier reservations, Turing’s niece Inagh Payne told Allan Beswick of BBC Radio Manchester that the film “really did honour my uncle” after she watched the film at the London Film Festival in October 2014. In January 2015, Cumberbatch, comedian-actor Stephen Fry, producer Harvey Weinstein, and Turing’s great niece Rachel Barnes launched a campaign to pardon the 49,000 gay men convicted under the same law that led to Turing’s chemical castration. The Human Rights Campaign’s Chad Griffin also offered his endorsement, saying: “Over 49,000 other gay men and women were persecuted in England under the same law.

Turing was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013. And honor the movement to bring justice to the other 49,000. During production, there was criticism regarding the film’s purported downplaying of Turing’s homosexuality, particularly condemning the portrayal of his relationship with close friend and one-time fiancée Joan Clarke. Speaking to Empire, director Tyldum expressed his decision to take on the project: “It is such a complex story. When you use the language of “fact checking” to talk about a film, I think you’re sort of fundamentally misunderstanding how art works. You don’t fact check Monet’s Water Lilies.

That’s not what water lilies look like, that’s what the sensation of experiencing water lilies feel like. That’s the goal of the piece. We wanted the movie to be emotional and passionate. Our goal was to give you “What does Alan Turing feel like? What does his story feel like? What’d it feel like to be Alan Turing?

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For the most part, Hodges has not commented on the historical accuracy of the film, alluding to contractual obligations involving the film rights to his biography. The following events depicted in the film did not happen in real life. The naming of the Enigma-breaking machine “Christopher” after Turing’s childhood friend, with Turing the only cryptographer working on it while the others either didn’t help or outright opposed it. In reality, this electromechanical machine was called “Victory” and it was a collaborative, not individual, effort. The building of only one machine, with Turing playing a large role in its construction. More than 200 British Bombes were built under the supervision of chief engineer Harold Keen of the British Tabulating Machine Company.

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None of them were built at Bletchley Park. The overall plot arc in which the British cryptographers were stymied for the first few years of the war and then a sudden breakthrough enabled them to finally break Enigma. Moreover, the breakthrough depicted in the film gives the impression that the Bombe was developed first, and only became effective later, after it was realised that deciphering could be made easier by looking for known or speculated items contained in an intercepted message, a practice known in cryptanalysis as employing a crib. The suggestion that Enigma was the only German cipher broken at Bletchley Park. The breaking of the Lorenz cipher, codenamed “Tunny”, arguably made just as important a contribution to Ultra intelligence as the breaking of Enigma, and breaking Tunny was in many ways more difficult. Neither the Tunny effort nor its main contributors, mathematician W.

The sequence in which Turing writes a letter to Churchill to gain control over the project and obtain funding for the decryption machine. Bletchley Park, which Churchill immediately did. The recruitment of Joan Clarke as a result of an examination after solving a crossword puzzle in a newspaper. The presentation of Turing’s social difficulties as so severe as to suggest Asperger syndrome or some form of autism. The sequence, which brackets the whole movie, in which Turing is arrested in 1951 when a detective suspects him of being a Soviet spy, which leads to the discovery that Turing is gay. The detective in the film and the interview as portrayed are fictional.

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Turing was investigated for his homosexuality after a robbery at his house and was never investigated for espionage. The suggestion that chemical castration made Turing unable to think clearly or do any work. The scene in which Clarke visits Turing in his home while he is serving probation. There is no record of Clarke ever visiting Turing’s residence during his probation, although Turing did stay in touch with her after the war and informed her of his upcoming trial for indecency.

The statement that Turing committed suicide after a year of hormone treatment. In reality, the nature of Turing’s death is a matter of considerable debate. The chemical castration period ended fourteen months before his death. The official inquest into his death ruled that he had committed suicide by consuming a cyanide-laced apple.

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The depiction of Commander Denniston as a rigid officer, bound by military thinking and eager to shut down the decryption machine when it fails to deliver results. Denniston’s grandchildren stated that the film takes an “unwarranted sideswipe” at their grandfather’s memory, showing him to be a “baddy” and a “hectoring character” who hinders the work of Turing. Turing was always respected and considered one of the best code-breakers at Bletchley Park and in short order took on the role of a leader there. All the interactions between Turing and Stewart Menzies, head of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

'The Imitation Game' review: turning Alan Turing's life into a code-breaking thriller

There are no records showing that they interacted at all during Turing’s time at Bletchley Park. An espionage subplot involving Turing and Soviet spy John Cairncross. Turing and Cairncross worked in different areas of Bletchley Park and there is no evidence they ever met. The Imitation Game has been nominated for, and has received, numerous awards, with Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Turing particularly praised. Special: How They Turned ‘Imitation Game’ Director Into an Oscar Contender”.

Matthew Goode Joins Benedict Cumberbatch For Alan Turing Biopic”. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley begin shoot on The Imitation Game”. Mark Strong Joins THE IMITATION GAME, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson Lead LEARNING TO DRIVE”. Imitation Game Release Date Changed to November 28″. The Imitation Game’ Begins Filming With Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley”. Backs Out of the Alan Turing Project”.

'The Imitation Game' review: turning Alan Turing's life into a code-breaking thriller