Benedict Cumberbatch stars as brilliant Cambridge mathematician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, who spearheaded the Enigma code-breaking operation during World War II and was later persecuted by the British government for his homosexuality.
PLEASE NOTE: The Imitation Game will have an additional screening on Thursday, September 11 at 10:00pm (Princess of Wales). Tickets go on sale Friday, September 5 at 7am.
One of the greatest stories of our time
began back in the darkest days of the
Second World War. Alan Turing was a
brilliant Cambridge mathematician hired
by the British military to break Nazi codes.
His work leading a group of misfit geniuses
didn't only shorten the war, it pushed technology
to the point where computers could
be imagined. But Turing paid a price.
At Cambridge University, the young
Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) quickly
establishes himself as a groundbreaking
thinker with his theories about the potential
of computing machines. When war between
Britain and Germany is declared, these
theories are put into active practice. Turing
easily passes a test to become a member of
a top-secret group assigned to decode critical
German naval communications. Much
to the surprise of the commanding officers,
so does a woman, Joan Clarke (Keira
Knightley also appearing at the Festival in
Laggies). Turing and Clarke become fast
friends, and are soon engaged to be married.
But Turing is gay, struggling with his identity
at a time when it is illegal and subject to
Cumberbatch plays Turing as a mercurial
character, unafraid of his quirks and
brashly proud of his intellect. Knightley's
Clarke is his equal — for all his insight into
the workings of consciousness, she may
understand him better than he does himself.
The meeting of their minds doesn't
result in a conventional love story, but The
Imitation Game does chronicle a remarkable
Norwegian director Morten Tyldum's
Headhunters played the Festival in 2011 and
won attention for its gripping pace and neat
balance of suspense and character work.
In his English-language debut, Tyldum
excels again. Turing and his colleagues
race against time to devise a machine that
can crack Germany's Enigma codes, while
Turing himself must work out how to be a
gay man at a time when such men are routinely
crushed by the law. It's an intensely