An Enigma Wrapped in Inhumanity: The Imitation Games' Algebra of Need

November 28, 2014 4:11 PM

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The story of a brilliant man, Alan Turing, brought to suicide after being disgraced for being gay, the movie The Imitation Game reflects the sexual politics of a bygone era. In the midcentury, homosexuality was a disease that could be cured, and surprisingly in the US Bible belt, some believe that canard today. In this riveting if conventional movie, directed by Morten Tyldum from Graham Moore's screenplay, Benedict Cumberbach plays Turing's stunning mental power, bungling social grace, and naievete so compellingly, his demise at age 41 supplies an added irony to the history of his work in cracking the Nazi enigma code, using a machine that would be a forebear to the modern computer. But with all of his mind-bending intelligence, he lacked the resources to survive society's ignorance.

Turing, unlike so many artistic men of his time, could not compromise. As the movie has it, a beautiful, smart woman, Joan Clarke, played with charm and her usual elan by Keira Knightley, would have been thrilled to marry him. He rescued her from a provincial life, and she might have returned the fa...

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