Composer Alexandre Desplat Talks THE IMITATION GAME, Coming to the Project Late, Finding Continuity in His Scores, His Love of Conducting, and More

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Six-time Academy Award Nominee Alexandre Desplat is a remarkably versatile composer with a distinct voice who has collaborated with some of the world’s top filmmakers.  His films this year range from Wes Anderson’s The Grand Hotel Budapest, to George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, the blockbuster action thriller Godzilla, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game.  Desplat’s compelling score for the Alan Turing biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch features lots of keyboards, clarinets, and fast arpeggios which support the pacing of the film and capture the story’s thrilling intensity and the humanity of characters who are racing against time to crack the Nazi’s Enigma code during WWII.

In an exclusive interview, Desplat discussed his collaboration with Tyldum, the tight schedule he was under to deliver the film, how he created themes that resonated with the storyline of a film that has an extremely complex structure consisting of many flashbacks and flashforwards, his themes for Alan Turing and his friend Christopher, how he strives to find a sense of continuity when he scores a film, why the chronology of music is important, why he finds each collaboration with a director a new adventure even when they’ve worked together before, and his upcoming projects including Suffragette.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Benedict Cumberbatch Has Secrets in New THE IMITATION GAME Trailer

by     Posted 10 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released a new The Imitation Game trailer for director Morten Tyldum’s (Headhunters) critically acclaimed Alan Turing biopic.  The World War II drama features an absolutely terrific lead performance by Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, a genius mathematician who worked to crack the Enigma Code—the code the Nazis were using to transmit messages back and forth—and bring an end to the war.  The film is really more about Turing than it is the war (he was later convicted of the “crime” of homosexuality and sentenced to chemical castrastion), but Tyldum weaves the Enigma plot throughout the film as a sort of spy thriller.  It’s a really good movie that also features a swell Keira Knightley performance and one of the best scores of the year thanks to composer Alexandre Desplat.

Check out the new The Imitation Game trailer after the jump, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to watch nine clips Matthew GoodeCharles DanceMark StrongRory KinnearAllen Leech, and Matthew Beard.  The Imitation Game opens in the U.K. today and in the U.S. on November 28th.

Watch 6 New Clips from THE IMITATION GAME Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, and Mark Strong

by     Posted 12 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released six new clips from The Imitation Game online.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  I saw the film at TIFF, quite enjoyed it, and am very eager to see it again.  Also, if you don’t need to worry about these clips spoiling the best moments from the movie.  They’re definitely good, but they won’t diminish your experience when you see the entire film.

Hit the jump to check out The Imitation Game clips.  The film also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew BeardThe Imitation Game opens in the U.K. on November 14th and in the U.S. on November 28st.

Benedict Cumberbatch Ponders the Possibility of Thinking Machines in New THE IMITATION GAME Clip

by     Posted 17 days ago

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A new The Imitation Game clip has been released online for director Morten Tyldum’s drama about genius mathematician Alan Turing.  Benedict Cumberbatch plays Turing in the film, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but whose homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  The film is told via a framing device in which Turing is under interrogation, and this clip comes from that portion of the story in which Turing attempts to explain his paper, aptly titled “The Imitation Game”.  This clip is a swell showcase of Cumberbatch’s phenomenal performance, which is layered with subtly as Cumberbatch attempts to convey Turing’s intellectual and analytical demeanor while also masking a weariness just beneath the surface.  It’s a terrific performance that’s not to be missed, and Cumberbatch will surely be a major contender in the coming Oscar race.

Watch the new The Imitation Game clip after the jump, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Keira KnightleyMatthew GoodeCharles DanceMark StrongRory KinnearAllen Leech, and Matthew Beard.  The Imitation Game opens in the UK on November 14th and in the US on November 28th.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actor Race at a Glance

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Every year in the awards race, it seems like the Best Actor field is the most crowded category.  That is certainly the case with this current crop of contenders, as there is no shortage of formidable talents vying for one of the five Best Actor Oscar slots.  While it’s still a tad early to start talking about possible winners, there’s plenty to discuss with regards to chances of being nominated.  The contenders range from well-respected underdogs to recent winners, and yes, spoiler alert, many of them are playing real people.  After the jump, I take a look at the Best Actor race at a glance in this edition of Oscar Beat.

Mark Strong Talks BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, the Ambiguity of His Role, Working with Rowan Joffe, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, GRIMSBY and More

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Mark Strong has made a career out of playing some of Hollywood’s most cold and calculating villains, but in Rowan Joffe’s stylish new psychological thriller, Before I Go To Sleep, he keeps audiences guessing to the last second about his true intentions.  Strong plays Dr. Nasch, a neuropsychologist who is trying to help a vulnerable amnesiac, Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman), recover her memories about her past without her husband Ben’s (Colin Firth) knowledge.  Cast in the unusual role of a sympathetic character, the actor reveals a quite different side of himself than we’re used to seeing on screen.

In an exclusive interview, Strong spoke about how he found the script to be an absolute page turner that was impossible to put down, why the ambiguity of the role appealed to him, his approach to playing a character that treads a fine line between being trustworthy or untrustworthy, his contributions to his character’s look, Joffe’s directing style, how his iconic image as a bad guy worked to the film’s advantage, his respect for Kidman’s phenomenal technique, his friends and family screening, being a part of The Imitation Game, and his upcoming roles in Kingsman:  The Secret Service, Grimsby, and Ad Inexplorata.  Check out our interview after the jump.

THE IMITATION GAME Clip: German Enigma Code Isn’t Unbreakable Until Benedict Cumberbatch Gives It a Try

by     Posted 26 days ago

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We may have Doctor Strange on the brain right now courtesy of Marvel’s big day yesterday, but let’s not forget, Benedict Cumberbatch could be on his way to his very first Academy Award nomination as well.  He leads the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival Audience Award winning film, The Imitation Game, as Alan Turing, a British cryptologist determined to solve the most difficult problem in the world, the German Enigma Code.

Even though Charles Dance’s Commander Denniston thinks breaking the Enigma Code is impossible, Turing isn’t fazed by the challenge in the least.  In fact, he refuses to dub the task unbreakable just yet.  He insists, “Let me try, and we’ll know for sure.”  Hit the jump to see what happens when Turing is first given the opportunity to try to crack the code in the new The Imitation Game clip.  The Weinstein Company is giving the film a limited release on November 21st.  It also stars Keira KnightleyMatthew GoodeCharles DanceMark StrongRory KinnearAllen Leech and Matthew Beard.

Oscar Beat: The Best Picture Race at a Glance

by     Posted 40 days ago

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The awards race is off and running.  We’ve already been through the fall film festival circuit where a number of contenders emerged either as heavy hitters or non-players, and as November approaches we’re starting to get to the point where all of the big films have been seen.  As such, I thought now would be a good time to start taking a closer look at some of the big categories, seeing where things stand as far as what films and actors/actresses are most likely to be nominated.  Take a look at the Best Picture race at a glance in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.

New BIG HERO 6 Poster Gets Colorful; Plus New Posters for THE HOBBIT, THE IMITATION GAME, and PADDINGTON

by     Posted 47 days ago

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New posters for some of the year’s most anticipated films have landed online.  Briefly:

  • Big Hero 6 – A new Big Hero 6 poster has been unveiled in anticipation of New York Comic-Con, which gets underway this weekend.  The Disney Animation film is the first adaptation of a Marvel comic for the studio and opens in theaters on November 7th.
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Hot on the heels of Bilbo and Gandalf one-sheets, the latest character poster for the final chapter in the Hobbit saga features Cate Blanchett as Galadriel.  The film opens December 17th.
  • The Imitation GameKeira Knightley gets her own poster for the WWII drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing.  The awards-friendly film opens in the UK on November 14th and in the US on November 21st.
  • Paddington – A new UK poster for the live-action/CG hybrid film based on the series of childrens books shows all of the titular bear’s favorite things.  The film opens on December 25th.

Check out the new posters after the jump.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley Try to Crack the Enigma Code in U.K. Trailer for THE IMITATION GAME

by     Posted 53 days ago

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StudioCanal UK has released a new The Imitation Game trailer online.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  This U.K. trailer goes heavy on painting the movie as a thriller, and that’s not misleading.  Part of the movie’s pull is that it does play like a spy flick.  However, it also has enough dramatic pull to never feel light.  I liked the movie when I saw it at TIFF, and I look forward to seeing it again.

Hit the jump to check out the U.K. The Imitation Game trailer.  The film also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew BeardThe Imitation Game opens in the U.K. on November 14th and in the U.S. on November 21st.

Benedict Cumberbatch Is an Enigma in First THE IMITATION GAME Posters; Plus New Posters for BIRDMAN, NIGHTCRAWLER, and JOHN WICK

by     Posted 60 days ago

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New posters for some of this fall’s most highly anticipated titles have landed online.  Briefly:

  • The Imitation Game – The very first The Imitation Game posters feature some wordplay involving the Nazi Enigma Code and the man who cracked it, a genius mathematician named Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film.  Both Cumberbatch and the movie itself will no doubt find themselves in the heat of the Oscar race.  The film opens on November 21st.  Click here for Matt’s review from TIFF.
  • Birdman – Another potential awards contender is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s black comedy, which gets a new theatrical poster ahead of its NYFF screening and release.  The film opens on October 17th.
  • Nightcrawler – Also a highlight from TIFF was Dan Gilroy’s dark, twisted psychological thriller featuring a truly unhinged performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.  This new poster isn’t near as pretty as the previous one, but the film remains one of my favorites of the year thus far.  Click here for Matt’s review from TIFF.
  • John Wick – We also have a new poster for this upcoming Keanu Reeves actioner that seemingly came out of nowhere and has been building buzz over the past few weeks, culminating in a pretty fantastic trailer.  The film opens on October 24th.

Hit the jump to check out the aforementioned posters.

THE IMITATION GAME Wins 2014 TIFF Audience Award; Makes Headway in Oscar Race

by     Posted 71 days ago

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The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival ends today, and TIFF has announced this year’s Audience Award winner.  Audience members vote by dropping their ticket into a ballot box after a screening if they like a film, and this year they really liked Morten Tyldum’s drama, The Imitation Game.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and focuses on his efforts to break the Germans’ code during World War II.  I saw the movie and quite enjoyed it, and while it wasn’t my favorite at the festival (that would be While We’re Young), I can understand why audiences went for it.  Click here for my review.

I’ll leave the official Oscar prognosticating to Adam and his Oscar Beat column, but I will say this: five of the last six TIFF Audience Award winners have gone on to be nominated for Best Picture; three of them won (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and 12 Years a Slave).  Hit the jump for the press release, which includes the runners up as well as the Audience Award winners for Midnight Madness and Documentary.

THE IMITATION GAME Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 77 days ago

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In September 1933, General George S. Patton told the Calvary Journal, “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.”  Mathematician Alan Turning proved Patton’s statement was only half true when it came to World War II.  It was won by men and a machine.  Turing and his team used a computer to decipher the Germans’ “Enigma” code, which turned the tide of the war and was one of the key contributions to the Allies’ victory.  Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game is a compelling look at a man treated inhumanely and the creation of his machine that helped saved humanity from evil.  The film isn’t hard to crack, but led by Benedict Cumberbatch’s outstanding performance and Tyldum’s strong direction, it’s a compelling tale of secrets, lies, and sacrifice.

Oscar Beat TIFF 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch Launches Into the Best Actor Race with THE IMITATION GAME

by     Posted 77 days ago

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The awards season is certainly prone to recognizing biopics, and luckily there are two high-profile films based on the lives of historical figures screening at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  I’ll have a full Oscar Beat report up on The Theory of Everything soon (for now read Phil’s review), but for now it’s time to focus on the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch might very well end up with a Best Actor nomination for his fantastic performance as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.  Moreover, the film itself has been receiving high praise, and I left the theater this afternoon thinking, “this feels like the kind of movie that wins Best Picture.”  More after the jump.

2014 London Film Festival Lineup Announced; TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, FOXCATCHER, SERENA, MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT and More

by     Posted 82 days ago

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The Telluride Film Festival is over and done with and Venice is coming to a close, but we’ve got the Toronto International Film Festival on the way and the New York Film Festival coming up right after.  On top of that, the lineup for the 58th BFI London Film Festival was just announced.

The list includes a bunch of titles that are already making the festival rounds like the event opener, The Imitation Game, as well as Gala selections Foxcatcher, Whiplash, Wild and Mr. Turner.  In addition, we’ve also got Testament of Youth starring Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Hayley Atwell, Emily Watson and Dominic West making its world premiere as well as The Falling with Maisie WilliamsSilent Storm with Andrea Riseborough and Damian Lewis, and Serena with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  Hit the jump for more on the 2014 BFI London Film Festival lineup.  The event begins on October 8th and wraps up on October 19th.

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