Saturday, January 17, 2015


Yup, good ol' Benadryl Custardbath is a pretty brilliant actor, playing a brilliant (and troubled) man. Liverswort Countryside plays Alan Turing, the brilliant puzzle-solver, Nazi code-breaker (that is, he broke Nazi codes...for the Allies...he wasn't a code-breaker for the Nazis) inventor of the computer, and homosexual who was chemically castrated by the state and ended up committing suicide. Fuck, that's depressing. Butawhiteboy Cantbekhan plays him with a certain sense of undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome, and his portrayal is excellent. So too are the "aha" moments of the film. Like realizing one key to cracking the code is how the Nazis always sign off with "Heil Hitler." Or, most intriguingly, how as soon as they break Enigma and realize a u-boat attack is imminent, Turing also quickly realizes that stopping the attack would let the Nazis know that they've cracked Enigma, and all their work will immediately be for naught. So the rest of the war is spent hiding the fact that they've succeeded--even from their immediate superiors--and feeding the information to MI6 so that they can stop just enough attacks to keep it plausible that they've gained the intelligence through other sources. I really would have liked more on that part, because it's the most morally complex part of the story, and while there is a big blow-up scene over it, it's pretty much left after that. The friendship between Turing and Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley, there's no funny name generator for her) dominates much of the movie, and while it's sweet (she's his intellectual equal, they're engaged at one point and even when he comes out to her, she's still willing to get married and be friends, as a marriage would actually help both of them in certain social ways.) Knightley is great in the role, and the final scene between them is quite touching, but I was simply more interested in the moral quandaries and puzzle-breaking.

Running Time: 114 minutes
My Total Minutes: 378,907

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