Tuesday, 2 December 2014



It's not that I didn't enjoy it. I did. But I couldn't help feeling that I'd seen The Imitation Game before, in any number of guises (Enigma/Atonement/A Beautiful Mind).
Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent - Keira Knightley no more irritating than usual - but how depressing that Joan Clarke, the fiercely intelligent codebreaker who was briefly Turing's fiancée, has to be glammed up for the demands of film audiences.
It smacks of rather too much American involvement, too much of an eye on Academy Awards and I came away thinking that I'd probably find the book rather more satisfying.
(Anybody else find themselves distracted, thinking Ooh, there's the chauffeur from Downton Abbey ... especially as Tom seems to have recycled his Downton tweeds?)
I'm always fascinated, though,  that they recruited people for Bletchley who could whizz through the Telegraph crossword. Especially as crosswords then were very feeble compared with today's. I prefer The Times - but I'm not sure that I'd have been much help with cracking Enigma.

9 comments:

Sue said...

Don't get me started on the irritatingness of Keira Knightley.

kristina said...

I start every morning with the New York Times crossword, but positive I would have been completely useless as a codebreaker!

Did you see 'Breaking the Code' with Derek Jacobi playing Alan Turing? G and I just watched it last night. Very interesting but imagine less polished than The Imitation Game (which we haven't seen yet).

x

mary said...

I'm sure she's laughing all the way to the bank, but I can't stand her, Sue.

I must watch it again, Kristina, glad you reminded me. I've just seen the trailer for Testament of Youth. Also very polished but I got the impression that it might not be anything like as good as the old TV series.

Sue said...

Usually, I'd agree with you re: KK. But this time I rather liked her in this role. Her voice is made for the forties and brittle speech. I liked the film, nothing too taxing in a Sunday night sort of way, and loved trying to tot up the actors popping up from other films/series.

Toffeeapple said...

I was underwhelmed by it. I had no idea who Keira was, not being a film buff or much of a TV watcher (so Downton has passed me by as well) but I agree with what Sue (2) says about her voice.

My daughter says that the film made her cry quite a bit but I could not recall a single moment when I was moved to do so. Perhaps I am too old and jaded? Also, living very close to Bletchley Park, perhaps I am rather blasé about it all...

mary said...

I agree, Sue - it was mildly enjoyable in a Sunday night telly way. Scriptwriting rather banal, I thought.

Wouldn't have wrenched a tear from me either, Toffeeapple. Probably because the awfulness of Turing's suicide - which I'd assumed what was what the film was about - was rather tagged on as an afterthought. Couldn't really see point of it, as it's not much more than Enigma with real people's names!


Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
Just want to send a big fancrush Hi and thanks to u. I'm going slowly and deliciously backward thru all your posts...savoring London, the Arts AND your unbelievable stamina! How many hrs are in your day that aren't in ours:) Many many thanks....for taking me thru the galleries, performances, viewings and readings...I am totally hooked and grateful.
I'm USA east coaster, now living in Arizona and Anglophile thru and thru.
Can't thank u enuf.
Quinn

mary said...

Hello Quinn, What a lovely comment! I'm so glad you've enjoyed the blog. As you'll have guessed, I love London. (I grew up the in the North, so still feel lucky to be here even after so many years.)
But you wouldn't think I had stamina if you saw me today! Although I have 8yo friends arriving in 20 mins so I'd better brace myself!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I love the photo .
In real life even Keira Knightley , at her chubbiest , would have been unable to move her arms in a 1940's hand-knit Fair Isle jumper , let alone decode anything .