The Imitation Game

2-trailers-for-benedict-cumberbatchs-the-imitation-gameSince beginning round three of my screenplay reviewing life, I’ve mentioned several times that the script for The Imitation Game is in my top 5 of the best scripts I’ve read. All the articles which demonstrated this in five question reviews are gone now [owing to an ephemeral… insouciance?] but I can still list my top 5 from before The Imitation Game:

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. Eyes Wide Shut
3. Twelve Monkeys
4. There Will Be Blood
5. The Matrix

After The Imitation Game the list looks like this:

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. The Imitation Game
3. Eyes Wide Shut
4. Twelve Monkeys
5. There Will Be Blood

That is how much I thought of Mr. Moore’s script.

Needless to say, I expected a lot from the film. Since I am on vacation this week, and since I love movies, and since I was completely stupid and did not reserve tickets ahead of time for the sold out Selma, I ended up watching The Imitation Game. The film did not move me to the shattering degree the script did, but it is still an impressive collaboration of filmmaking parts. If you haven’t had time to see this yet, make time.

Essentially, I believe this is an instance where the film is so good because the script is so good. Mr. Cumberbatch and the rest owe all the Oscars [I hope] they win to Mr. Moore’s nearly flawless blueprint. In my opinion, this is the film that proves the flipside of the point which so often gets made about screenplays:

Sometimes the beauty of a structure is SOLELY owed to the blueprint of its design.

The collaboration which resulted in the finished product for The Imitation Game deserves credit which I hope they get [they didn’t spoil the pages], but I can tell you that the movie which played in my head when I read this script a year ago was AS GOOD AS the movie that Mr. Tyldum got his nomination for directing. That’s just a fact.

At any rate, all the things I loved about this script are on display in the film. I love the fantastic use of the opening monologue [the best use of monologue since the Coen Brothers], the reveals around Christopher [the person and the machine], the discussion around “the blood-soaked calculus”, and the heartbreaking celebration of human frailty and strength.

As an entity separate from its script. I felt the direction was unobtrusive and the acting was exceptional. I expected Benedict to be even better than he was, but he will be a deserving winner if he does win. Judging my feeling right now, I think it is possible that Keira Knightley did more with a much slimmer part than Benedict.

The only thing which worked better for me in the film version was the depiction of the Christopher Machine. Seeing this [physically represented] helped me understand how it contributed to solving Enigma.

Overall, this film mirrors my reaction to Eternal Sunshine and Eyes Wide Shut. Counting The Imitation Game, I can now site three instances where the blueprint outshines the building. In spite of that fact, I can still say:

Rating: HIGHLY Recommended

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