The Imitation Game, a wonderful film

Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.

the_imitation_game_a_p

On New Year’s Day we saw The Imitation Game, the absolutely must see movie that follows Alan Turing’s life and his secret work to crack the German’s Enigma code during World War II. Whether you know anything about Alan Turing or not, I highly recommend seeing the film. It tells a wonderful story about an amazing man and his struggles being both a socially awkward genius and a closeted homosexual. The pacing of the story is just right and the build up to the ultimate climax and breakthrough are amazing. The Imitation Game joins The Theory of Everything as not only one of the best films of the year, but also one of the best biographical films in recent years. I can’t recommend both films enough.

Alan Turing’s arrest and punishment (chemical castration) for being gay are an absolute outrage, and it’s hard to believe just how recently humanity has done horrible things to those who chose to live differently. Turing certainly lived an interesting life and I’m left wanting to learn more about it. I’m certainly looking forward to reading the biography the film was based on (Alan Turing: The Enigma, Andrew Hodges) and seeing him mentioned in Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators which I bought awhile back but haven’t started reading yet.

If Turing’s name sounds familiar you’ve probably heard it in the form of the Turing Test, the test meant to determine whether a computer can “think” enough like a human and fool a person into believing it is a human. You may have read that this past summer a computer passed the Turing Test for the first time.

Advertisement

The Theory of Everything is a wonderful experience

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/899/30758002/files/2014/12/img_0079-1.jpg

Last night we watched The Theory of Everything, the biopic directed by James Marsh (Man on Wire) and based on the Jane Wilde Hawking memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen (Alma Books, 2008).

I didn’t know a whole lot about the film going in, or even much about Stephen’s life so I expected it to center more on his scientific achievements over his personal life. In reality the film focuses almost entirely on his relationship with Jane and the trials and tribulations during their time together. It was actually quite informative and a good story that causes a great variety of strong emotional reactions throughout.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/899/30758002/files/2014/12/img_0080-0.jpg

The film is a great visual experience, with plenty of great colors and wonderful scenes that left me in awe. Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking wonderfully from his healthier youthful days right through the rapid progression of his disease. I also really enjoyed the performances of Charlie Cox (Jonathan Jones) and Maxine Peake (Elaine Mason).

Overall The Theory of Everything is an incredible movie with superb acting, a wonderful soundtrack, great visuals and a compelling, emotionally taxing story. I highly recommend it, 5 out of 5.