The Imitation Game Press Conference

The Imitation Game

Today sees the opening of the BFI London Film Festival 2014 with the screening of The Imitation Game. Director Morten Tyldum, screenwriter Graham Moore, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were in London to discuss the film…

On Alan Turing as a figure of history

Benedict Cumberbatch: This has been an extraordinary decade for him [Alan Turing] because of his pardon, because of his centenary, because of exhibitions and books, and now this film. It is part of a momentum to have him at the forefront of the recognition he deserves, as a scientist and as the father of the modern computer age, as a war hero, and as a man who lived an uncompromising life.

Morten Tyldum: When I read the script, I was shocked about how little I knew. You know, why wasn’t he on the cover of history books.

On the character of Alan Turing

Graham Moore: I have been obsessed with the story of Alan Turing since I was a teenager. I was like enough to get to know the story of this tremendous person who accomplished all these things I knew about. As a fan of him, I always wanted to see an Alan Turing movie.

Morten Tyldum: To me, this is a movie about outsiders. It is a movie about somebody who is different, who thinks outside the box. He was an unsung hero who achieved so much. It is about a guy who was ahead of his time.

On opening the London Film Festival

Benedict Cumberbatch: It’s amazing to open the London Film Festival. I have always wanted to spend more time at the LFF, and to be upfront and centre with this film, I couldn’t be more proud of it. To present [The Imitation Game] to London is terrific.

Morten Tydum: It is a great honour. It is great for me to come here and show the film to a British audience.

The Imitation Game opens the BFI London Film Festival on 8th October 2014. See here for a live stream of the red carpet footage.

Film Review: The Imitation Game

THE IMITATION GAME

Director Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game is an engaging character study, which is sumptuously executed.

As World War II breaks out, academic Alan Turing is interviewed for a secretive position in Britain’s war effort. Alan and a team of talented mathematicians are tasked with breaking the ‘unbreakable’ enigma code used by Germany to transmit messages…

Alan Turing’s story is one that was kept quiet for so long, that even now the mathematician does not receive the recognition he deserves for his contribution to history. The Imitation Game makes a very good effort at rectifying this. It is a story that needs to be told.

The carefully crafted narrative is what makes The Imitation Game so engaging. The film jumps between pivotal periods in Alan Turing’s life. This works well to exhibit his personality, and the motivations that drive him in his task. The non-linear nature of the film creates an element of mystery of how Turing came to be in the position that viewers first meet him, as well as how enigma code got cracked.

The strand of Turing’s sexuality is an important one, which is given significant attention by the script. This is particularly significant, given the recent pardon. Much is made of the importance of what Turing achieved, rightly so, however The Imitation Game also recognises the importance the protagonists sexuality had to play in his life and the struggles of the period.

Brief sequences of conflict, devastation and archive footage are included, presumably to emphasise the importance and urgency of what the team were doing. These feel unnecessary; there are few who will not appreciate the enormity and wide-reaching effects of that war. The aerial sequences appear a little inauthentic. They have the look of animation rather than reality. Alexandre Desplat score is excellent.

Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a strong performance as Alan Turing. The unease and sharpness of the character are aspects Cumberbatch has delivered before. Mark Strong is well cast, as is Matthew Goode.

The Imitation Game is an excellent portrayal of what Alan Turing achieved during WWII. Not neglecting the role others had to play, the film is utmost the story of Turing; a long-overdue tale.

The Imitation Game opens the London Film Festival on 8th October 2014.

Film Review: Headhunters

Based on Jo Nesbø’s novel, Headhunters is implausible but tremendous fun. Morten Tyldum’s crime thriller is highly recommended.

Roger Brown is a successful headhunter who lives in a swish apartment with his beautiful wife. In order to afford their extravagant lifestyle, Roger steals valuable portraits from clients, replacing them with forgeries. When he meets ex-mercenary Clas Greve at his wife’s art gallery, Roger thinks he has found his next target…

Morten Tyldum directs Headhunters with deftness. Action scenes are suitably frantic, and the film maintains a steady pace throughout. Although Headhunters can be tense at times, there is an underlying irreverence to the film. The action sequences never lose their sense of frivolity, despite a certain brutality to them.

Headhunters is a heady mix of creativity and predictability. There are some highly amusing moments in the film. Most will pick up the clues to see where the ending is going. This is not too much of a detraction, as Tyldum retains the fun factor. The central character Roger is fallible in his insecurities. He appears inferior to nemesis Clas in terms of looks and success; in this way he is more of an every man despite his questionable morals.

Headhunters offers sleek production values and cinematography. Performances are decent all around Aksel Hennie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are well cast as Roger and Clas; both are sufficiently believable in the roles. Headhunters is recommended fro those who like their thrillers tinged with humour.

Headhunters is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2011.