When is a British film, albeit about a very British subject, not a British film? Venturing an opinion I would say when its financed with American money, directed by a Norwegian born director (Morten Tyldum best known for his adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters in 2011), the cinematography is handled by a Spanish DOP (Oscar Faura), the screenplay is adapted by an American (Graham Moore) and the soundtrack is by a French composer (Alexandra Desplat). But one must admit as far as I know the actors are British! (These include Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong). Does it make much difference? Well certainly not to the quality of the film. Although I’m not sure if this is the story of Homosexuality, before the water shed that was 1967, or the story of an attempt to save the British Empire. My candid suggestion would be to go and see The Imitation Game (2014) for yourselves and make your own mind up, but either way I’m sure you will agree it’s a cracking film, from which ever of the two-view point’s you choose to see it from.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who did nothing to enhance one of my own personnel favourite characters in literature Mr Sherlock Holmes, gives an award winning performance as Alan Turing the pioneering British computer scientist and mathematician. The movie covers Turing’s life back from 1952, when he was prosecuted under the archaic act that governed sexual relationship’s between people of the same sex, essentially back to the time when he worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park where he was credited in breaking German ciphers known as the Enigma Code which it is said shortened WW2 in Europe by two to four years. Although I believe the Soviets had a lot to do with that as well!
The most sickening part of the Alan Turing story is how he was basically forgotten, unrecognised for his work but persecuted for his sexual orientation when, as I have said, he was prosecuted for homosexual acts between consenting adults. Accepting chemical castration, as an alternative to serving a prison sentence. The film intimates that this affected his brainpower and therefore his continuing work. Two years after his sentence the forerunner of the modern computer died mysteriously from cyanide poisoning. But the Turing family had to wait until 2009 before an official public apology was made by the then British Prime Minister Gordon ‘the Vow’ Brown and in 2013 the Queen of England, the one whose son is alleged to have chased underage girls in America, gave the scientist a posthumous pardon, which was very generous considering he did not break any ‘real’ laws?