Freeview film of the day: The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as tormented maths genius and Enigma-busting Alan Turing who battles the Nazis and his own inner demons.

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The Imitation Game ★★★★ 
9.00-11.15pm Film4 

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Alan Turing, a true Second World War hero, deserved a knighthood at least. Had he been heterosexual he would surely have got one; but he was gay and in the early 1950s the British Establishment wasn’t having that. So instead of an honour he was offered the choice between prison and chemical castration, choosing the latter and eventually suicide. Thus ended the life of the mathematical genius who, by cracking Germany’s Enigma code, shortened the war by two years. Benedict Cumberbatch is outstanding as Turing. Though we already knew going in what we will have learned when we come out, the plot develops like a tense thriller, a race against time as German U-boats sink our shipping almost unchallenged until Turing intervenes. Rivalry between the teams at Bletchley is also touched upon, while Keira Knightley is excellent as Joan Clarke, Turing’s colleague and briefly “fiancée”.


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