The Imitation Game

Last night, Paula and I went out for date night to see “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. This is the true story of Alan Turing who was a gifted mathematician during WWII. Turing was responsible for the cracking of the German Enigma Code machine. He had created a computing machine that eventually could decode the imitation gameGerman transmissions.

The title refers to what is also known as the “Turing Test” where a human being and a computer are located behind a screen. Then a person asks questions of the person and the computer and tries to determine which is the computer and which is the person. It is the gold standard for artificial intelligence. IBM’s “Watson” is considered to be on the leading edge of artificial intelligence.

Anyways, the story begins with Turing applying for a job at Bletchley Park. Turing begins designing and building a computing machine to decode the German transmission. Decoding by hand up until that time was not making any progress. The code setting were changed every night at midnight.

Cumberbatch does a wonderful job of portraying Turing. You actually believe that he is Allan Turing. I was amazed at the set decoration. You feel that you have been transported back in time to war time Britain.

Allan Turing committed suicide in 1954 after being prosecuted by the British for being a homosexual. He recently received a posthumous pardon from Queen Elizabeth II in 2013, along with a formal apology from Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Keira Knightley plays Joan Clarke who is another gifted mathematician. She worked with Turing in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park. The movie depicts her troubles finding acceptance with a society that felt that a woman’s place was in the home, not working decoding Nazi messages.

So “Imitation Game” has been nominated for 8 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Director. It seems that actors today seem to be less likely to change their names to something more pleasant to the ear. Back in the day, you would have Roy Scherer Jr changing his name to Rock Hudson or Marion Robert Morrison changing his name to John Wayne.

Outstanding movie. Go see it. Coming next, review of “The Theory of Everything”

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