‘The Imitation Game’: Decoding a complex man

November 25, 2014

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To my mind, “The Imitation Game” is the best film of the year: a gripping tale of wartime espionage and code-breaking that also manages to be the character study of an important figure whose contributions have been ignominiously ignored.

Morten Tyldum’s film tells the story of Alan Turing, played with vulnerable sangfroid by Benedict Cumberbatch. A genius with limited social skills and a secret about his sexuality, he was the head brain on England’s effort to crack Germany’s Enigma code. Though England had managed to steal one of Germany’s Enigma machines, it had no way to crack a code that could contains millions of variations and was changed every day.

But the film is bookended by a post-war episode in Turing’s life: an arrest in the early 1950s that led to a conviction for homosexuality, illegal in England until the mid-1970s. Secrets seem to permeate Turing’s life, both personal and professional.  (More…)

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