Cumberbatch delivers a wonderful performance as Turing, channeling his intelligence and fragility, while making his awkwardness feel entirely real, as opposed to just a series of tics and mannerisms. It’s possible to argue that the film doesn’t deal enough with Turing’s sexuality, especially considering he was tragically prosecuted for being a homosexual, a series of events that culminated in his suicide. However, a film based on true events as remarkable and extensive as Turing’s life and the events at Bletchley Park has to make judgement calls on what to omit, otherwise there’d be enough incident for three films.
Director, Morten Tyldum proved himself expert at telling a ripping yarn with sparky humour and pace in 2012’s Headhunters, so it’s no surprise he was chosen to helm here. Aside from Cumberbatch, the cast is uniformly impressive and the period recreation is detailed, if a little too polished at times. However, there’s no denying that this is a classy British thriller that has the pedigree and quality to be a real contender come awards time. The coveted Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival is always a good indicator of a film’s awards prospects, with three of the last six winners subsequently going on to pick up the Oscar for Best Picture and it may not be the favourite yet but with such a moving and stirring story, Cumberbatch in career best form, plus the backing of the Weinsteins, it’s becoming a strong contender.