Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘The Imitation Game’

Benedict Cumberbatch

The Imitation Game proves that a ripping true story can survive even the Oscar-bait effect. This is a profile of Alan Turing: British mathematician, code-breaker of Germany’s Enigma device (a feat of decrypting that significantly shortened World War II, per Winston Churchill), father of the machines we now call computers. Turing’s achievements were long kept secret, although he’s been depicted a few times in recent years, including a BBC take with Derek Jacobi (Breaking the Code, 1996) and a fictionalized film with Dougray Scott (Enigma, 2001). But The Imitation Game is bound to prove definitive, if not Oscar-winning.

Here Benedict Cumberbatch plays the brilliant Turing as a borderline-autistic personality, a rude brainiac who fiddles with his big computing machine while his colleagues (led by Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, and Charles Dance—that British acting pool remains deep) stand around scratching their heads.

Continue reading at Seattle Weekly

Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews, Musicals

Film Review: ‘Begin Again’

Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley

The 2006 film Once, which won an Oscar for best song, was something of a mystery. That little Irish picture featured unfamiliar actors, an obscure director and an unusual approach to the movie musical. Was it just a one-off? Filmmaker John Carney has worked since then, without making much of a splash. His new one, Begin Again, suggests that Once was not a fluke.

This is another music film, deep in its bones. It’s got a dangerously recognizable storyline, but the treatment is heartfelt and its actors engaging. Plus, the music’s pretty good.

Continue reading at The Herald