THE IMITATION GAME **** How is it that the Brits excel so at dialogue and drama? It must be their inherent bit of Shakespeare. Here is a brilliant example of their forte – a great story based on historical facts (by Andrew Hodges and Graham Moore), tight direction by, of all people, Norwegian director Morten Tyldum, and the superb acting of Benedict Cumberbatch (more British, “tu meurs”…) who has honed his craft as TV’s Sherlock Holmes and as the iconoclast Julian Assange (in the excellent but ignored The Fifth Estate). Playing his colleague, Keira Knightly is also exceptional, as is the strong supporting cast. The film was deservedly nominated in most categories for the Golden Globes and the Oscars.
The story is about the mathematical prodigy Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), who cracked Germany’s Enigma code during WWII. It is both a tragic personal tale as well as a thrilling study of spies, enigmas and dark official secrets that were known by only a handful of people at the time. And it is about the machine that Turing painstakingly built that was the forerunner of today’s computer. Sharp, amusing and terribly human, this oeuvre would have made the Bard proud.
(photos – Ascot-Elite)
INTO THE WOODS *** If you’re looking for a purely fun evening with light but quality entertainment, this delightful spoof of all musicals, by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine), is just the thing. A mélange of various fairy tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood (oooh, with Johnny Depp as the bad wolf) and Jack and the Bean Stalk among others, we get this loony but lovely tale of foolishness, greed and fun rolled up into a super musical comedy starring the always brilliant Meryl Streep (her 19th Oscar nomination this year!) as the conniving witch. Emily Blunt as the peasant wife and Chris Pine as the prince are some other known names in this perfect cast who all sing like professionals – their own voices. Simply astounding. But then I remember Glenn Close explaining years ago when they asked how she could sing in the Broadway musical Sunset Boulevard, she answered “I act singing”. Quite amazing what these pros can do!
(photos – Walt Disney)
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Germany and Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.