Director: Mortem Tyldum
For the majority of the film, Turing's sexual preferences are incidental. The focus rightly showcases his achievements, not just in war, but in the creation of the world's first computer. But it is this film's final act that is the most poignant. Regardless of all his services to country and mankind, he was torn apart and destroyed because society decided his sexuality was criminal. Throughout, this biopic-cum-thriller plays against the foreboding of this tragedy, with his landmark work accumulating and his status as hero mounting only for the rug to be pulled from under us. As history, it's shamefully accurate and as entertainment, it's distressingly unnerving. This isn't how it should have been. This isn't how Britain should have rewarded it's greatest war hero.
Unfortunately, The Imitation Game lacks the scale and grandeur we've come to expect from modern biopics of this type, which will undoubtedly effect its awards potential. But with its focus on the internal struggle as significant as the code-breaking itself, it sets it apart from its Bletchley Park predecessor, the decidedly wet Enigma. But while this film's intentions are honourable, it does feel like a project that has been amplified from more humble aspirations by the involvement of a high profile cast. The script is wobbly in places, while the insertion of aerial wartime vistas play counterpoint to the rest of the film. The attempt to underline the significance of Turing's work is there throughout, but it didn't quite encapsulate the gravitas that perhaps it should have. But, saying that, its moments of humour are welcome... So in reality, all this film really needed was a more confident director to wipe away its residual wishy-washyness and rank this truly deserving biopic amongst the best of them.