The Imitation Game


The Imitation Game Information

The Imitation Game is a 2014 British-American historical thriller film about British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, a key figure in cracking Nazi Germany's Enigma code that helped the Allies win World War II, only to later be criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing and is directed by Morten Tyldum with a screenplay by Graham Moore, based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.

The film's screenplay topped the annual Black List for best unproduced Hollywood scripts in 2011. After a bidding process against five other studios, The Weinstein Company acquired the film for $7 million in February 2014, the highest ever amount paid for US distribution rights at the European Film Market.

The film had its world premiere at the 41st Telluride Film Festival in August, it also featured at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival in September where it won "People's Choice Award for Best Film," the highest award of the festival. It had its European premiere as the opening film of the 58th BFI London Film Festival on October 2014.

The Imitation Game was released in the United Kingdom on 14 November 2014, and was released theatrically in the United States on 28 November 2014.

Synopsis

The film portrays the race against time by Alan Turing and his team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. The motley group of scholars, mathematicians, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers had a powerful ally in Prime Minister Winston Churchill who authorized the provision of any resource they required. The film spans the key periods of Turing's life: his unhappy teenage years at boarding school; the triumph of his secret wartime work on the revolutionary electro-mechanical bombe that was capable of breaking 3,000 Enigma-generated naval codes a day; and the tragedy of his post-war decline following his conviction for gross indecency, a criminal offence stemming from his admission of maintaining a homosexual relationship.

Cast



Production

Before Benedict Cumberbatch joined the project, Warner Bros. bought the screenplay for a reported seven-figure sum because of Leonardo DiCaprio's interest in playing Turing. In the end, DiCaprio did not officially come on board and the rights of the script reverted to the screenwriter which was then picked up by Black Bear Pictures. Various directors were attached during development including Ron Howard and David Yates. In December 2012, it was announced that Headhunters director Morten Tyldum will lead the project, making the film his English-language directorial debut.

Principal photography began on 15 September 2013 in England. Filming locations include Turing's former school, Sherborne and Bletchley Park where Turing and his colleagues worked during the war. Other locations include towns in England; Nettlebed (Joyce Grove at Oxfordshire), and Chesham (Buckinghamshire). Scenes were also filmed at Bicester Airfield and outside the Law Society Building in Chancery Lane. Principal photography finished on 11 November 2013.

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. Production designer Maria Djurkovic admitted, however, that her team made the machine more cinematic by making it larger and having more of its inside mechanisms visible.

The Weinstein Company acquired the film for $7 million in February 2014, the highest ever amount paid for US distribution rights at the European Film Market. The film is also a recipient of Tribeca Film Festival's Sloan Filmmaker Fund which grants filmmakers funding and guidance with regards to innovative films that are concerned with science, mathematics, and technology.

In June 2014, it was announced that Alexandre Desplat will provide the original score of the film. Desplat composed and orchestrated the score in under three weeks together with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The film's title refers to Turing's proposed test of the same name, which he discussed in his seminal 1950 paper on artificial intelligence entitled "Computing Machinery and Intelligence". The paper opens:

Marketing and theatrical release

Following the Royal Pardon granted by the United Kingdom to Alan Turing on 24 December 2013, the filmmakers released the first official promotional photograph of Benedict Cumberbatch in character beside Turing's bombe machine on the same day. On Turing's death anniversary week in June 2014, Entertainment Weekly released two new stills which marked the first look on the characters played by Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Matthew Beard and Allen Leech. On what would have been Turing's 102nd birthday on 23 June, Empire released two photographs featuring Mark Strong and Charles Dance in character. Promotional stills were taken by photographer Jack English, who also photographed Cumberbatch for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Princeton University Press and Vintage Books have both released movie tie-in edition of Andrew Hodges's biography Alan Turing: The Enigma in September 2014. The first UK and US trailers were both released on 22 July 2014. The international teaser poster was released on 18 September 2014 with the tagline, "The true enigma was the man who cracked the code."

The film had its world premiere at the 41st Telluride Film Festival in August, it featured at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival in September. It had its European premiere as the opening film of the 58th BFI London Film Festival on October 2014. It had a limited theatrical release on 28 November 2014 in the United States, two weeks after its premiere in the United Kingdom on 14 November. US distributor TWC stated that the film will initially debut in four theatres in Los Angeles and New York, expanding to six new markets on 12 December before releasing nationwide on Christmas day. </ref>|width=35%|align=left}} On 8 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. Attendees of the screening at Los Altos Hills, California included Silicon Valley's top executives like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Linkedin"?s Reid Hoffman, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Airbnb"?s Nathan Blecharczyk and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to name a few. Director Tyldum, screenwriter Moore and actress Knightley were also in attendance. In addition, Cumberbatch together with Facebook's Zuckerberg presented the Math Prizes at the Breakthrough Awards on 10 November 2014 in honour of Turing.

The bombe machine 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 also features clothes worn by the actors and props used in the film.

The official film website at theimitationgamemovie.com allows visitors to unlock exclusive content by solving crossword puzzles conceived by Turing in his lifetime. Google, which also 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. The prize/s will be awarded to entrant/s who crack the code and submit their entry the fastest.

On 27 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 World War II. Entrants who solve the puzzle can mail in their results for a chance to win a trip for two to London and a tour of Bletchley Park.

Music

The film's score was composed by Alexandre Desplat and the soundtrack was released by Sony Classical on 24 November 2014. It was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Reception

Box office

The film opened #2 at the UK box office just behind the big-budget film Interstellar earning $4,278,909 million from 459 screens. Its opening box office figure is the third highest opening weekend haul for a UK film in 2014. It has also achieved a very high 90% "definite recommend"? from its core audience, according to exit poll figures. Its opening was 107% higher than that of Argo, 81% higher than Philomena and 26% higher than The Iron Lady following its debut.

Debuting in four theatres in Los Angeles and New York on 28 November, the film grossed $479,352 in its opening weekend with a $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. Adjusted for inflation, it also outperformed The Weinstein Company's own Oscar-winning films The King's Speech ($88,863) in 2010 and The Artist ($51,220) in 2011 which were also released on Thanksgiving weekend. The film will expand into additional markets in 12 December and will be released nationwide on Christmas day.

Critical response

The film has received positive reviews with critics particularly lauding Cumberbatch's lead performance as Turing. It currently holds an 86% approval rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 7.4/10 based on 111 reviews. The site's critical consensus states, "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." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100, the film has a score of 71 based on 31 reviews indicating "generally positive reviews". The film also received a grade of "A+" from market-research firm CinemaScore and was included in both the National Board of Review's and American Film Institute's "Top 10 Films of 2014."

The New York Observer's Rex Reed declared that "one of the most important stories of the last century is one of the greatest movies of 2014" while Kaleem Aftab of The Independent gave the film a five-star review hailing it the "Best British Film of the Year." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post described it as a "thoroughly engrossing Oscar-caliber movie" with critic James Rocchi adding that the film is "strong, stirring, triumphant and tragic." Empire described it as a "superb thriller" with Glamour declaring it "an instant classic." Peter Debruge of Variety added that the film is "beautifully written, elegantly mounted and poignantly performed." Critic Scott Foundas stated that the "movie is undeniably strong in its sense of a bright light burned out too soon, and the often undignified fate of those who dare to chafe at society's established norms." Critic Leonard Maltin asserted that the film has "an ideal ensemble cast with every role filled to perfection." In addition, praise was given to Keira Knightley's supporting performance as Joan Clarke, William Goldenberg's editing, Alexandre Desplat's score, scar Faura's cinematography and Maria Djurkovic's production design. The film was also enthusiastically received at Telluride Film Festival and won the "People's Choice Award for Best Film" at TIFF, the highest prize of the fest.

As Turing, Cumberbatch's performance received widespread acclaim with A.O. Scott of The New York Times stating that it is "one of the year"?s finest pieces of screen acting" and Kenneth Turan of Los Angeles Times declaring it "the role of Cumberbatch's career." TIME chief film critic Richard Corliss called his characterization "the actor"?s oddest, fullest, most Cumberbatchian character yet" adding that Cumberbatch "doesn"?t play Turing so much as inhabit him, bravely and sympathetically but without mediation." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone asserted that the actor "gives an explosive, emotionally complex" portrayal of Turing. Critic Clayton Davis stated that it's a "performance for the ages... proving he's one of the best actors working today." Foundas of Variety wrote that Cumberbatch's acting is "masterful... a marvel to watch" with Manohla Dargis of The New York Times describing it as "delicately nuanced, prickly and tragic" and Owen Gleiberman of the BBC proclaiming it an "emotionally tailored perfection." It's "a storming performance from Cumberbatch: you'll be deciphering his work long after the credits roll" declared Dave Calhoun of Time Out. The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy wrote that the undeniable highlight of the film was Cumberbatch "whose charisma, tellingly modulated and naturalistic array of eccentricities, talent at indicating a mind never at rest and knack for simultaneously portraying physical oddness and attractiveness combine to create an entirely credible portrait of genius at work." Critic Roger Friedman wrote at the end of his review that "Cumberbatch may be the closest thing we have to a real descendant of Sir Laurence Olivier."

While praising the performances of Cumberbatch and Knightley, Catherine Shoard of The Guardian stated the film is "too formulaic, too efficient at simply whisking you through and making sure you've clocked the diversity message..." Meanwhile, Tim Robey of The Telegraph described it as "a film about a human calculator which feels... a little too calculated." Some critics also raised concerns about the lack of sex scenes in the film to highlight Turing's homosexuality.

The Turing family

Despite earlier reservations, Turing's niece Inagh Payne told Allan Beswick of BBC Radio Manchester that "the film really did honour my uncle" after Payne watched the film at the London Film Festival in October 2014. In the same interview, Turing's nephew Dermont Turing stated that Cumberbatch is "perfect casting. I couldn't think of anyone better." James Turing, a great nephew of the codebreaker said Cumberbatch "knows things that I never knew before. The amount of knowledge he has about Alan is amazing."

Controversy and historical accuracy

During production, there was criticism regarding the film's purported downplaying of Alan Turing's homosexuality, particularly condemning his relationship with close friend and one-time fiance Joan Clarke as portrayed in the film. Andrew Hodges, a biographer of Turing, described the script as having "built up the relationship with Joan much more than it actually was", and Turing's surviving niece Inagh Payne thought that Keira Knightley was inappropriately cast as Clarke, who she described as having been "rather plain". </ref> |width=30%|align=left}}

Speaking to Empire, director Morten Tyldum expressed his decision on directing the film; "It is such a complex story. It was the gay rights element, but also how his (Turing's) ideas were kept secret and how incredibly important his work was during the war, that he was never given credit for it."

In an interview for GQ UK, Matthew Goode, who plays a fellow cryptographer of Turing in the film, stated that the script focuses on "Turing's life and how as a nation we celebrated him as being a hero by chemically castrating him because he was gay."

British historian Alex von Tunzelmann writing for The Guardian in November 2014 pointed out historical inaccuracies in the film. She wrote that the film slandered Turing by accusing him of cowardice and treason for not revealing a Soviet spy, who in reality he is unlikely to have met in the first place.

On 28 November 2014, the grandchildren of Commander Alastair Denniston (played by Charles Dance in the film) have spoken of their dismay claiming that the film takes an "unwarranted sideswipe"? at his memory, showing him to be a "hectoring character"? who hinders the work of Turing. In real life, relatives say, he was a "humble"? man devoted to his work, and they want his true contribution to the war effort to be recognized. The filmmakers released a statement saying, "Cdr Denniston was one of the great heroes of Bletchley Park. As such, he had the perhaps unenviable position of being a layman overseeing the work of some of the century"?s finest mathematicians and academics "? a situation bound to result in conflict as to how best to get the job done."

Accolades

Awards
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
2014 American Film Institute 8 Dec 2014 Top Ten Films The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 Aspen Film Festival 02 Oct 2014 Special Audience Recognition Award The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
17th British Independent Film Awards 7 Dec 2014 Best Independent Film The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
Best Screenplay Graham Moore rowspan="1"
Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch rowspan="1"
Best Actress Keira Knightley rowspan="1"
2014 Chicago Film Festival 27 Oct 2014 Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 EuroCinema Hawaii Awards 12 Nov 2014 Best Film The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch rowspan="1"
Best Director Morten Tyldum rowspan="1"
72nd Golden Globe Awards 11 January, 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama The Imitation Game
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama Benedict Cumberbatch
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Keira Knightley
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score Alexandre Desplat
2014 Hamptons International Film Festival 24 Sep 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
14 Oct 2014 Narrative Competition Audience Award The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 Heartland Film Festival 30 Oct 2014 Truly Moving Picture Award The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
18th Hollywood Film Awards Awards 14 Nov 2014 Hollywood Supporting Actress Award Keira Knightley rowspan="1"
Hollywood Actor Award Benedict Cumberbatch rowspan="1"
Hollywood Supporting Actress Award Keira Knightley rowspan="1"
Hollywood Director Award Morten Tyldum rowspan="1"
Hollywood Film Composer Award Morten Tyldum rowspan="1"
2014 Memphis Independent Film Festival 2 Nov 2014 Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 Mill Valley Film Festival 14 Oct 2014 Overall Audience Favorite The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 National Board of Review Awards 3 Dec 2014 Top Ten Films The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival 03 Jan 2015 Best Ensemble Cast Matthew Beard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Keira Knightley, Allen Leech and Mark Strong rowspan="1"
2014 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards 16 Dec 2014 Best Picture The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
Best Actor in a Leading Role Benedict Cumberbatch rowspan="1"
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Keira Knightley rowspan="1"
Best Adapted Screenplay Graham Moore rowspan="1"
Best Production Design Maria Djurkovic rowspan="1"
Best Original Score Alexandre Desplat rowspan="1"
2014 San Diego Film Festival 03 Oct 2014 Best Gala Film The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
19th Satellite Awards 15 Feb 2015 Best Motion Picture The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch rowspan="1"
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Keira Knightley rowspan="1"
Best Art Direction and Production Design Maria Djurkovic and Nick Dent rowspan="1"
Best Director Morten Tyldum rowspan="1"
Best Film Editing William Goldenberg rowspan="1"
Best Original Score Alexandre Desplat rowspan="1"
Best Adapted Screenplay Graham Moore rowspan="1"
2014 Scottsdale International Film Festival 14 Oct 2014 Audience Award for Best Film The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
21st Screen Actors Guild Awards 25 Jan 2015 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Benedict Cumberbatch rowspan="1"
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Keira Knightley rowspan="1"
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Matthew Beard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Keira Knightley, Allen Leech and Mark Strong rowspan="1"
39th Toronto International Film Festival 14 Sep 2014 People's Choice Award for Best Film The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 Twin Cities Film Festival 25 Oct 2014 Best Feature Film The Imitation Game rowspan="1"
2014 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 8 Dec 2014 Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch rowspan="1"
Best Adapted Screenplay Graham Moore rowspan="1"



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Imitation_Game" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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