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Kaleberg

I read Sue Black's review - she's been very active in restoration work at Bletchley Park - and decided the movie was unnecessarily redone as a Hollywood melodrama. Instead, I dug up a copy of Sebastian which was made in the late 1960s. It's a mishmash of a movie with Dirk Bogarde as the socially awkward head of a largely female code breaking staff being romantically pursued by Susannah York. It had tensions between the scientific and military worlds, a code breaking melodrama of its own, and mod London as a backdrop. In truth, it wasn't much better than The Imitation Game, but it had no pretensions and better excuses like the official secrets act and being filmed before Stonewall.

You are absolutely right about Holmes and Watson being complementary. George Orwell picked up on this in his essay on The Art of Donald McGill in which he points out that the Holmes / Watson dichotomy was the old one between body and soul. Usually it is the tall skinny guy, Don Quixote, concerned with honor, justice, truth and the soul while the short fat guy, Sancho Panza, is worried about the physical aspects of the world like eating and not getting killed. Doyle flipped the body types, but kept the interaction.

Ralph H.

I agree wholeheartedly that Cumberbatch is in the running for an Oscar. Readers should know, however, that he was portraying a wholly fictitious character using the name of a real historical personage, Alan Turing, in a wholly fictitious plot that appropriated a bare handful of elements from an important historical episode. The Imitation Game was pure fiction from start to finish, with not a scene that might be construed as an "historical reconstruction."

Oh, and Keira Knightley continues to astonish with her exquisite skill as an actress. Nominee for BSA, for sure!

Ken Muldrew

Turing should get credit as the principal designer of the bombe used to crack Enigma. It was much more than a re-design of the Polish original (which was never an actual machine). Maybe you are thinking of Colossus, the fully electronic computer used to break the Tunny code (which was mainly designed by Tommy Flowers).

The movie does mix up the history to an astonishing degree.

Fiddlin Bill

Knightley is pretty great in Domino. Cumberbatch should reprise Dr. Kildaire.

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