The thing about “buzz” – authentic, palpable buzz – is that it has to be earned. Certain movies can go into a film festival with studio-generated “buzz.” And the quality of the film either strengthens or decimates that energy. But the films that have The Goods produce their own buzz because they are excellent films that benefit from word-of-mouth publicity. One such film with serious momentum at the moment is Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Imitation Game.
Directed by Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game tells the story of World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, a brilliant English mathematician who helped turn the tide of the global conflict by shattering Germany’s Enigma code, allowing the Allied forces the chance to gain the upperhand on the world’s adversaries. Clearly, a hero’s life awaited Mr. Turing following the war, right? Um, not exactly. In fact, quite the opposite.
Alan Turing, you see, was gay. And homosexual activity, at the time, was a crime in England. When Turing was outed, he was persecuted and prosecuted by the government he helped save. Such was the brutality of his punishment, the British government issued an official apology in 2009 – but by then, Turing had died, reportedly of suicide.
The Imitation Game held its world premiere over the Labor Day weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, and emerged from the festivities as the hottest title in a prestigious group. Despite the fact that Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, Alejandro Inarritu’sBirdman and Reese Witherspoon’s Wild all played (to balanced raves), the buzz on Telluride swirled around The Imitation Game. A few Tweets praised the movie:
Others praised the work of Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.The Imitation Game - Oh my! Marvelous!! Watching Cumberbatch as Turing is enchanting, he’s remarkable. Wow what a film, bravo. #telluride
Either way, The Imitation Games goes into this week’s Toronto International Film Festival as THE movie to see, and we expect to hear plenty more about it as the season rolls along.