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Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Delivers in ‘Imitation Game’

It’s been four years since a movie truly dazzled me. Dazzled me the way movies are meant to. They’re meant to draw you into a world that is nothing like your own, then, teach you, amaze you or frighten you, the way only the best actors and actresses can. I remember sitting down to watch The Kings Speech and being floored. Colin Firth delivered in a role that was inconceivably awkward and Geoffrey Rush matched him step for step.

Since the 83rd Academy Awards (the year Kings Speech won), the movies nominated for Best Picture have been great films. The Artist, Gravity, American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave, Argo. All great movies. None of them dazzled me. The Imitation Game and its star Benedict Cumberbatch have broken that streak and the 87th Academy Awards are in sight.

From the very first shot of this movie, Cumberbatch delivers, playing Alan Turing, a man that like King George VI was full of social quirks and the kind of persona a great actor can bring to life. That shift from good to great takes place for Cumberbatch in The imitation Game. You literally can not take your eyes off of him as he floats around the screen, making mathematics and early computer science breathtakingly attractive.

The supporting cast is excellent as well. Keira Knightley was an excellent and believable counterpart for Cumberbatch and Matthew Goode was as enjoyable to watch on screen. Another great thing about The Imitation Game is that it comes from a director that hasn’t had a wide released movie in the United States (credit cynthia). Mortan Tyldom’s best movie before this one was Headhunters, the highest grossing Norwegian movie of all time. It was never wide released in the United States.

That unknown status for Tyldom likely kept him off the nominees list for the Golden Globes, but Cumberbatch and Knightley both earned acting nominations and the movie will be the leader in the clubhouse for Best Motion Picture Drama on January 11th, 2015. After that, it will be onto the Oscars in February.

Sometimes what makes a movie dazzle is losing track of roles. When a movie is great, you think about cinematography, writing and directing. When a movie dazzles, you loose track of those things and get absorbed by the story. The Imitation Game does just that and Cumberbatch and company are the main reason. You don’t care who held the camera or who wrote the story. All you care about for 114 minutes is how incredible a movie you are experiencing and when you can see it again.

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