“The Imitation Game”: Worthy of (Most Of) Its 8 Oscar Nominations


“The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightly and Matthew Goode was released on DVD and Bluray on March 31. Having 8 Oscar nominations this year, the anticipation for this release was building, even among those that believe it should be known as “Oscar bait.” Having seen it, it was definitely deserving of quite a few of its nominations, but not all of them.

Writer Graham Moore won the award for best adapted screenplay for his adaptation of the novel by Andrew Hodges. Having not read the novel I can’t judge too harshly on the job of turning book into film, but as a film, even though it was amazing, I have a few qualms.

The story is of the life of the inventor of the first computer, a machine that was created to decode the German machine Engima, which would send cryptic messages so that they were the only ones who were able to understand them. With a film that is going to be about Turing’s life, I completely understand the need to have some back story into his personal life, but this film went too far into it.

It is essential to know, based upon how he committed suicide via cyanide in later life, that he was gay. I am proud to see that the film industry is finally acknowledging the contribution of the lesbian and gay community to the world in a positive way, which has been a rarity in the past. There are many gay people who are not recognized for what they have done for the world simply because they are gay, making this film revolutionary. I just don’t believe that a film about how Turing helped to change the world by saving an estimated 1.4 million lives with his machine needs to spend about 40 minutes on his sexual orientation. I fully believe that it is awful that he was persecuted in his later life for his homosexuality, but I would have liked to see more of the moral conflict of all of the characters in regards to the secrets and the choices that they needed to make during this time of war.

Benedict Cumberbatch did a phenomenal job in his role as a slightly socially awkward young man who is exceptionally smart. He is my personal second choice in the running for best actor of the year, second to Eddie Redmayne for his role in “The Theory of Everything.”

Kiera Knightly, however, raises some questions. First question being: why was she nominated for best “supporting” actress? She was the only actress in the entire film really. There were small roles played by a few other women, most of which were extras, but no other actresses. She may have supported Cumberbatch, but she was the only actress in the entirety of the film. So why not the best leading actress? After saying that, I do not feel she would win at all. With the actresses that were up for best actress, and best supporting actress for that matter, Knightly did very little in comparison. As per usual, she did a good enough job, but nothing spectacularly breakthrough such as Emma Stone from “Birdman” or Julianne Moore from “Still Alice” did. Not to pick on her, but Rosamund Pike doesn’t really deserve her nomination either. The pickings were slim this year in the actress realm.

All in all, the movie as a whole was great. I believe that it did deserve its nomination for best film of the year, and had it not been for “Birdman,” a film about the film industry itself, I would probably think that “The Imitation Game” might have won. It was completely worth a watch, and probably Cumberbatch’s best role yet.

Article by Krista Skweres

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