The Imitation Game

Before They Were Oscar Nominees: British Stars Up for Academy Awards in 2015

This year five talented Brits have been nominated for an Academy Award. Most of these names are quite familiar to UK film fans; however, before they were delivering inspiring performances and their names appeared on movie theater marquees, they had to pay their dues with small guest appearances in television series and made-for-TV movies.

Let’s take a brief look at their careers before they were Oscar hopefuls…

BAFTA 2015: Which is the Best British Film?

If the holidays are wrapping up and the cold, dark winter is truly setting in, it can mean only one thing. It’s awards season! For the UK film industry, the greatest accolade that can be bestowed is from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA for short, which also happens to the name of the statuette presented to the winners.

On this past Friday, the nominees for the 2015 BAFTAs were announced at the Picadilly headquarters of the Academy itself by perennial host Stephen Fry and his cohort Sam Claflin. While there might have been a few snubs, most of the expected names were announced. Of interest to British movie fans, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game received multiple nods for acting, screenplay, director and best overall film. Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike and Imelda Staunton also earned nominations for their impressive work in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl and Pride respectively. A complete list of nominees can be found here.

Though a British organization, most of BAFTA’s awards are not limited to UK produced movies except for one – the Outstanding British Film category. Last year some of the nominees for this award had a tenuous claim to this distinction. In fact it was Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney that won this honor in 2014.

This year’s batch of outstanding movies are much more identifiably British and a good representation of UK filmmaking overall. Two are biopics of famous scholars, two are based on historical events set in the fairly recent past, one is a Scottish sci-fi thriller and the last is a CGI depiction of a beloved British children’s character. I’ve actually seen four out of the six films on the list and, despite a few disagreements based on my own personal tastes, would concur with a majority of its candidates.

Let’s take a look at the nominees, shall we?

Watch Another Trailer for Alan Turing Biopic ‘The Imitation Game’ with Benedict Cumberbatch

The highly anticipated biopic The Imitation Game – starring Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaking genius Alan Turing – is set to open the London Film Festival with a gala screening this week. In honor of the film’s debut in England, a brand new trailer has been released, which focuses a bit more on the man behind the intellect that helped crack the Nazis’s Enigma code.

Two trailers for the film have already been released, both of which focus on the groundbreaking work done by Turing and his team at Bletchley Park. This newest clip focuses the team of mathematicians assembled to crack the most difficult code the world had ever seen and the machine that Turing created – considered the earliest computer – to help them do it. The trailer also highlights the growing stress Turing was under to crack Enigma as quickly as possible – as well as to keep the secrets of his personal life from those around him.

Cumberbatch is joined by an all-star supporting cast featuring Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Charles Dance and more. And, quite frankly, it looks outstanding.

Alan Turing Biopic ‘The Imitation Game’ Wins Audience Award at TIFF

The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival wrapped up over the weekend, after having premiered many highly anticipated films, hosted countless press interviews and red carpets, and handed out several high profile trophies, in a prelude to the true awards season frenzy later this year.

One of the big winners to emerge from Toronto? A very British film about a very British hero, featuring a very British cast. Highly anticipated biopic The Imitation Game, which tells the story of British codebreaker, genius and hero Alan Turing, with the festival's prestigious Grolsch People's Choice Award for 2014. This honor is bestowed by festival audience members, who vote by dropping a ticket into a ballot box after the screening has concluded, to indicate that they liked a film. Apparently they liked Imitation Game quite a bit.

Get Your First (Two) Look(s) at Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in ‘The Imitation Game’

World War II biopic The Imitation Game – which tells the story of British codebreaker, genius and general hero Alan Turing - has been a buzzy project for months now, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the release of the film’s first trailer has been met with rapturous reviews.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch – well known for his ability to portray complicated genius types like Stephen Hawking, Vincent Van Gogh and Julian Assange – plays Turing, joined by an all-star cast comprised of British acting heavyweights, including the Oscar-nominated Keira Knightley, Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance, Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Matthew Goode, Matthew Beard and more.

Learn - and watch both (fantastic) new trailers – below.

First Image of Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in 'The Imitation Game'

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is well known for his ability to take on complicated genius-type characters, and he’s set to continue to that trend with his upcoming role as legendary British codebreaker Alan Turing in drama The Imitation Game. And he certainly looks perfectly cast!

The film’s official Twitter account shared the first image featuring Cumberbatch in character as Turing, in honor of the fact that the famous mathematician was given a posthumous royal pardon by Queen Elizabeth over his conviction for homosexual acts in the 1950s, in a victory for a long-running campaign, which had been attempting to have Turning pardoned since at least 2009.

Get a bigger look at Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game below.

Filming Begins on Alan Turing Biopic ‘The Imitation Game’; Full Cast List Revealed

Filming officially kicked off this week on highly anticipated indie drama The Imitation Game, a drama that’s set to tell the story of British mathematician, cryptographer and all-around genius Alan Turing, who is credited with cracking the German enigma code during World War II. Sadly, however, despite his heroic efforts on behalf of his nation, Turing was prosecuted by the government for his homosexuality, underwent chemical castration as punishment and eventually committed suicide. It’s a terribly sad – and terribly moving – story that seems primed to be turned into an extremely compelling film.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Turing, while Oscar-nominated actress Keira Knightley is set to star opposite him as Joan Clarke, Turing’s close friend and fellow codebreaker, with whom he had a complicated and lifelong friendship.

As for the rest of the cast, while we already knew that Downton Abbey star Allen Leech was set to take part – playing a Scottish spy – most of the other major roles had yet to be announced. With the official start of production, the full cast list for the film has been released – and it’s absolutely jam packed with British talent of all stripes.

'Downton Abbey' Star Allen Leech to Join Benedict Cumberbatch’s 'The Imitation Game'

Big news for Downton Abbey fans – another of its leading men is has been cast in a major film, starring opposite some faces you’ll definitely recognize.

Allen Leech, the man who plays everyone’s favorite former-chauffeur-turned-upstairs-aristocrat Tom Branson, confirmed an ealier report in British paper The Mirror that he will be making the jump to Hollywood features, alongside several other notable British stars. Leech is set to join the cast of The Imitation Game, an upcoming biopic about noted British great Alan Turing, which has already signed Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and Oscar nominee Keira Knightley as its leads. Read on for more.

Keira Knightley Looks Set to Join Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

The Amazing Cheekbones Battle of the Century may soon be upon us – actress Keira Knightley is apparently in talks to join Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch in upcoming biopic The Imitation Game, reports the Hollywood Reporter. Based on a biography by Andrew Hodges, the film is focused on the life of Alan Turing, the British mathematician, cryptographer and all around genius who helped crack the German enigma code during World War II.

Cumberbatch has been attached to this film for some time, probably because he seems to have a knack for playing slightly tortured, high octane intellectual types (see also: Sherlock Holmes, Vincent Van Gogh, Stephen Hawking, etc) , so his casting as Turing is basically the definition of perfect.

Knightley – who is probably most well known for her role in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and as Lizzie Bennett in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice remake – is apparently in talks to take on the role of a very conservative woman who develops a “complicated” relationship with Turing and is “there with him until the end.” Given that the end of Turing’s life was packed with tragedy – he was prosecuted by the British government for being homosexual, chose to undergo a hormone treatment known colloquially as chemical castration rather face prison and eventually committed suicide because he was so haunted by his decision – there ought to be plenty of messy emotional material for both Knightley and Cumberbatch to work with. (Protip: Pack tissues)