It’s been a case of co-ordination today, as the moment the BFI announced that The Imitation Game is set to open the 58th BFI London Film Festival, Studiocanal released the UK trailer and in the US The Weinstein Company unveiled theirs.
The movie will open the LFF with a gala screening on Wednesday 8th October at the Odeon Leicester Square, with a live cinecast from the red carpet and simultaneous screenings taking place at cinemas across the UK.
You can take a look at the trailers below.
Here’s the synopsis: ‘THE IMITATION GAME is a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing (pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code) and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British establishment, but his work and legacy live on.
‘THE IMITATION GAME stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, TV’s Sherlock) as Alan Turing and Keira Knightley (Atonement) as close friend and fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke, alongside a top notch cast including Matthew Goode (A Single Man), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Charles Dance (Gosford Park, TV’s Game of Thrones), Allen Leech (In Fear, TV’s Downton Abbey) and Matthew Beard (An Education).’
Director Morten Tyldum comments on the LFF announcement, “I am thrilled to be returning to London to share The Imitation Game with the audience of the BFI London Film Festival. The experience of directing this film has been so tremendously rewarding, and I am humbled to share Alan’s Turing’s incredible story on Opening Night.”
Of course Turing was gay, and to be honest the trailers are unlikely to assuage those worried the film will whitewash his sexuality. Although the US trailer does make oblique reference to it, you could still easily believe Keira Knightley is going to be the film’s ‘love interest’. Many will be keeping a close eye on The Imitation Game, as the importance of Turing’s story isn’t just in cracking German codes during World War II and the fact his work helped lead to modern computers, but that after the war he was prosecuted for his sexuality, shunned and made to chemically castrate himself, which eventually led to his suicide.
To sideline that is to do a disservice to a man who may have made many more breakthroughs if he didn’t live in a society that was happy to use him to help save the country, but then destroyed him after because of their narrow view of human love.
Hopefully the trailers are the ones sidelining the issue and not the movie. We’ll have to wait and see. (Many other mainstream films with gay content ignore that aspect in trailers that cater to the masses, with the logic that you won’t turn off gay-friendly people by not including it, but you could turn off others if you do).
The movie opens across the UK on November 15th.