I have a tradition to try to see the top contenders for the Oscar Best Picture Nominees. The first step in doing so, is to see the Golden Globe nominated films. Although I am not finished, I have to say that I already have a favorite. The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch is worth the watch, and here are five reasons why:
1) Having been nominated for the golden Globe, the Imitation Game is a shoe-in for a lot of Oscar nominations. If nothing else will draw you to this movie, then hopefully the fact that movie critics adore this film should be enough. But if it isn’t, I’ll give you a reason: Mathew Goode. If you’re from my generation, then you’ll know Mathew Goode from Chasing Liberty, a movie with Mandy Moore. He also starred in Leap Year, with Amy Adams. More recently, he has been starring in the Good Wife. In this film he plays a good looking, a tad cocky, full of himself, smart guy. Oh and who helps save the world from fascism. Essentially, he’s Ironman without the suit.
2) Allen Leech. Or as you may know him Tom Branson from Downton Abbey. He is also one of the stars of the film. Proving that you don’t have to be killed off from the show to star in a good movie…yes I was speaking to you Dan Stevens (and no I’m still not over his death…or Sybil’s death for that matter…excuse me as I go cry in a corner for a minute). Although the clothing may not seem all that different from Downton, I can assure you that this character is not Branson. You’ll have fun watching Allen Leech play a different kind of character.
3) Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes the God himself stars in this film. If you like Sherlock you’ll like this film. Although there isn’t a mystery, the character shares some of Sherlock’s quirks. He’s insanely smart, doesn’t really know how to interact with people, and well yes he’s insanely good looking (but that may be more of a Benedict thing than a character thing). Benedict Cumberbatch proves once again that he isn’t only a pretty face but a force to be reckoned with. He is an amazing actor underneath it all and the emotional states he takes you to, are heart wrenching and amazingly played. The film encompasses three time periods (without getting confusing) and Benedict plays Turing in two of them. How he plays the man in two very different times of his life is more than amazing. The last few scenes with Keira Knightley make him worthy of an Oscar nomination in my opinion.
4) The year of Keira Knightley. I will continue to say this until everyone understands: Keira Knightley is back. Not that she was gone but she has turned the game around this year. This is her fourth film to be released in 2014, and her third great one. Keira is known for her period pieces, and this year for the most part she broke away from that. This film mixes the best of both worlds. It is based during the Second World War, so there is a little period in it, but it isn’t corsets and ball gowns anymore. As the only female lead in the film, she explores the role of a woman in this time period. She explores feminism, and proves that no matter your sex, you can be smart enough to join the big leagues. And is also able to discuss the power of friendship. Keira has made great choices in films this year (Begin Again, Laggies) and I can’t wait for what she chooses to do next. I like this Keira Renaissance and can’t wait to see more.
5) The story itself. If you didn’t know, The Imitation Game is based on a true story. The story of Alan Turning is one that not many people are aware of but everyone should be. What he and his team accomplished during the Second World War won the allies the war; it shortened the war by two years. He is the father of the digital age, creating a machine essential for the creation of computers as we know them today. With all of these accomplishments, it seems impossible that the general public doesn’t know his name. Well, that may have to do with the fact that his work during the Second World War was kept secret due to its nature. But it probably has more to do with homophobia. After the war, Turing was shamed and chemically castrated for being a gay man. This led him to commit suicide. He was only 41. The world lost one of its greatest minds due to a time’s ridiculous views on same-sex relationships. A man who helped save the life of countless men during the war. This man deserves much more than just a movie about him, but at least this film is exposing this story to the general public. A story that needs to be heard.
Although I did not mention him in the article, there is one more member of the team that is worth the mention: Mathew Beard’s character stole my heart in one particular scene. I won’t give it away but when you see it I am sure you’re heart will also break. So far this is my favorite movie of 2014. I have yet to see some of the year’s major films such as Selma and Birdman which seem to be contenders for this honor as well. But this story was perfectly told. It was perfectly crafted. It was perfectly executed. It’ll be tough to top this film for me.