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.

London Film Festival 2014 – Preview of Coming Attractions

Second Coming

The full programme for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 was announced today, and it is brimming with fascinating artifacts. A total of 245 fiction and documentary features, including 16 World Premieres, are being screening during the twelve day festival, as well as 148 shorts. Opening the London Film Festival 2014 is The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. The festival closes with David Ayer’s Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. The BFI London Film Festival 2014 runs from 8th-19th October. Here are my picks from the programme…

Men, Women & Children

Following the success of Young Adult and Labor Day, Jason Reitman’s latest film is an adaptation Chad Kultgen’s novel. Focusing on emotional isolation in the digital age, Men, Women & Children features an ensemble cast that includes Jennofer Garner, Adam Sandler and Judy Greer. 

Second Coming

Second Coming is Debbie Tucker Green’s directorial debut. The British drama stars Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba as a London-based couple living with their teenage son. Second Coming is one of the film’s shortlisted for the London Film Festival 2014’s First Feature Competition.

Whiplash

Whiplash

Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash is about the relationship between a musical prodigy and his teacher. Starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, the film won the Grend Jury and Audience awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Dear White People

Writer-director Justin Simien’s Dear White People is a satire which tackles the issue of race in contemporary America. Set at an Ivy League college, the film concerns a sole-black fraternity which is to be diversified.

White God

A film about a dog. When young Lili goes to stay with her dad, he is not interested in looking after her pet dog Hagen. Deciding to leave the dog at the side of the road, this sets off a eye-opening series of events in director Kornél Mundruczó’s White Dog.

Tickets for the BFI London Film Festival 2014 go on sale to the public on Thursday 18th September 2014. For the full schedule, and details of events, see here.

Stuff To Look At

A veritable cornucopia of film trailers, images and featurettes this week, including Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Lucy, The Imitation Game and more…

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Here is the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2. A sequel to 2010’s hit comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, this instalment sees three of the four main characters venturing forward in time. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 will be released in the UK on 26th December 2014.

Fifty Shades of Grey

The hotly-anticipated trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey is here. Having not read the book, I am unsure whether this is what fans of the novel expect. Starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on 13th February 2015.

Lucy

From the above clip, Lucy looks like it will be very entertaining. Luc Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in the sci-fi thriller, from Besson’s own screenplay. Lucy hits the big screen on 22nd August 2014.

The Expendables 3

And with every film, the cast keeps growing. The Expendables 3 sees some familar faces return, along with new additions such as Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford. From the above featurette, it looks as if the cast had a lot of fun making the film. The Expendables 3 powers its way into cinemas on 14th August 2014.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max - Comic Con Signing Art

Here is the latest image from the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, which was debuted at Comic Con this week. Although the thought of another belated sequel could be disappointing, this one is directed by original helmer George Miller and stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Max Max: Fury Road is scheduled for release on 15th May 2015.

The Imitation Game

The first trailer for The Imitation Game was released this week, along with the news that the film will be opening the BFI London Film Festival in October. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game will receive a full release in UK cinemas on 14th November 2014.

Big Hero 6

The more I see of Big Hero 6, the more I am looking forward to the film. Big Hero 6 also reminds me how much I need a robot in my life. The film is due to be released in January 2015.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Here is the latest TV spot for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It looks as if there will be humour in the film, which is appealing. But the real question is, for where is Krang? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is out in UK cinemas on 17th October 2014.

Let’s Be Cops

Above is a clip from buddy-cop comedy Let’s Be Cops. Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson star as two friends who dress up as police officers for a costume party and end up being mistaken for the real thing. Let’s Be Cops hits the big screen on 27th August 2014.

Annabelle

Urgh, creepy, creepy, creepy dolls. Annabelle is a spin-off of last year’s horror The Conjuring. The film, which is being produced by horror maestro James Wan, is basically a reminder to never own sinister-looking dolls. Annabelle is set for release on 10th October 2014.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings

So is this what Christian Bale has been growing his beard for? Ridley Scott directs epic Exodus: Gods and Kings.  The film stars Christian Bale as Moses, on his quest to free slaves from their Egyptian ruler. You can watch the trailer here. Exodus: Gods and Kings is released in UK cinemas on 26th December 2014.

Magic in the Moonlight

Woody Allen’s latest Magic in the Moonlight is an appealing proposition.  Set in the 1920s, Colin Firth plays a magician attempting to expose psychic Emma Stone. I cannot wait. Magic in the Moonlight is out in the UK on 19th September 2014.

Horrible Bosses 2

Here is the trailer for comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2. I enjoyed the first film, so am tentatively looking forward to this. Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day return of this instalment, which is scheduled for release on 28th November 2014 in the UK.

Unbroken

Angelina Jolie directs Unbroken, the story of Olympian and war hero Louie Zamperini. With Joel and Ethan Coen among the screenwriters, Unbroken looks to be ticking all the boxes. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 26th December 2014.

Planes 2: Fire and Rescue

The sequel to spin-off Planes, Planes 2: Fire and Rescue sees protagonist Dusty swapping racing for fire fighting. The above clip gives a glimpse of his new team. Planes 2: Fire and Rescue races to the big screen on 8th August 2014.

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm is based on the true story of a sports agent who travels to India to look for a young cricket he can transform into a star baseball player. Starring Jon Hamm, Million Dollar Arm is released in UK cinemas on 29th August 2014.