A New York City test screening of The Imitation Game has provided the strongest indication yet that Benedict Cumberbatch will be a mainstay of the red carpet when the 2015 awards season comes around.
The Sherlock actor plays computer scientist and Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing in the new biopic which was bought earlier this year for a record fee by The Weinstein Company (the distributors behind Oscar winners The Artist, The King's Speech and Silver Linings Playbook).
And while Cumberbatch features alongside a star-studded cast – Keira Knightley, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech and Matthew Goode – it's his name on the tip of every viewer's tongue.
Details of the 18 June event remain pretty scarce – test screenings are known to be largely secretive – but a few comments have emerged on forums and the Twittersphere heralding the film and the British actor's commanding performance.
@ME_Says took to Twitter to praise the movie and, in particular, Cumberbatch.
As did @TheFilmStage...
In response to suggestions the character is a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he wrote, "I'm hearing he's (Benedict) FAR more emotive than both of those characters and there is this intense/emotional/heavy dramatic scene towards the end that's his total Oscar - give him the statue already scene [sic]."
Of course, none of these reviews are in an official capacity – we'll have to wait until much closer to the film's 14 November 2014 release date for those – but early indications certainly back Weinstein's decision to reach deep into his pockets. Watch this space...