Sunday, February 1, 2015

Andrew's Cinematic Adventures: The Imitation Game Movie Review

2014 has been an incredible year for movies. I know it's 2015 and technically I've seen both Theory of Everything AND The Imitation Game this month, but I still consider them movies from 2014. The Academy must think so as well, since both movies are being nominated for a bunch of different Oscars.

The Imitation Game is the latest addition to the short and impressive filmography of one handsome, slightly-anonymous Brit named Benedict Cumberbatch. The man picks his roles well and has yet to disappoint me in any movie he's been in. We can go ahead and count the Imitation Game up there with some of his best work as well as one of the best movies that 2014 had to offer.

The movie takes place in the early 1940s and World War II is all the rage. Cumberbatch plays the role of Alan Turing, a brilliant man with slight problems connecting with his fellow humans. That doesn't stop the British government from recruiting him to help crack the Enigma machine, which was the machine used to send and receive Nazi messages during WWII. Alan Turing is tasked with heading a team of the most brilliant minds in the world to crack the code and bring the war to a quick end.

Fascinating plot, right? Absolutely but not the only story this movie successfully tells. On its surface, yes, it is about the Engima machine and WWII, Beneath the surface, this film portrays the story of a complex (another one, I know) man living during a time when people like him weren't necessarily welcomed into society with open arms. I'm not going to reveal the exact basis behind what I'm talking about (no spoilers), but Benedict takes the role of Alan Turing and hits an epic home run with the material. The entire portrayal is tragic, fascinating, and thought-provoking, one of his best roles, and a complete masterpiece in the world of character study. Seriously. Go see it because there's not much more I could say about the performance without spoiling major plot points.

Conversely, I HAVE noticed that Cumberbatch seems to play the same type of character in most everything I've seen him in (not including Smaug, come on guys obviously I'm not talking about that). He may realize this himself and is banking on what he knows he's good at doing. Regardless, I would be interested in seeing him play a non-Sherlock type character. Every time I've watched, he's played some form of the genius...the guy who struggles connecting with those around him...that guy who has little patience with any lowly peon who just happens to be less smart than he is. We know he can play that role. He's been doing it for years on BBC's Sherlock. Come on Benedict. Try on a different outfit.*

*PS. I'm not saying he's not a good character. I'm not saying he's bad at any of these roles. I'm merely saying that I would love to see him in a different role...something completely opposite of what we are all accustomed to. Here's a flattering picture of Cumberbatch as proof that I adore the guy.... ;)

A couple of other points on this movie:

1. Keira Knightley....goddess much?

2. Every time they mentioned MI6 in this movie, I turned to Abby and whispered something about James Bond. Seriously, I was half-expecting 007 himself to show up and help with their top-secret mission saying something like, "Miss Moneypenny sent me. I got this."

 He would then proceed to completely forget what the exact mission entailed and concern himself with the wooing of Keira Knightley's character. I'd watch that movie.

3. I absolutely loved seeing Allen Leech in this movie. The Irish babes knows knows how to a suit and I can say that openly. Downton Abbey sighting! Seriously, look at this guy in a suit:

He's a suit-wearing fiend.

I haven't yet come up with a rating system for this blog, but I WILL say this. The Imitation Game is one of the best movies of the year and I've decided it's even better than the Theory of Everything. Go see it. Buy it on Blu-Ray. Do whatever you do with movies that you fall in love with. You won't be disappointed.

PS. If any of y'all have any pointers on a rating system for movies...leave a comment. I haven't yet settled on something specific or concrete.

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