As a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, I knew that that he would be convincing as Alan Turing, but I found his performance in this totally absorbing, I heard a critic say That Turing was difficult to warm to, but I at once liked this awkward and seemingly emotionally devoid man. Cumberbatch has played it like this before, Sherlock too is a genius removed from reality by his brilliance, but here Cumberbatch takes it to another level.
It soon, though becomes apparent that he was not devoid of emotion at all, that his feelings were vivid and strong and soaring. They were all just held down under check for the sake of his secret. Whilst his homosexuality was the reason for his falling foul of the Law and the reason why he could not be totally free with himself it was an innocent loss from his youth that really began his emotional withdrawal. Alex Lawther as Young Allen is astounding and I see great things for him as an actor in the future
Cumberbatch is utterly compelling, but it is in those moments when Turing is vulnerable, when chinks of his anguish or tenderness or anger are reluctantly revealed that the film becomes most powerful. The scene where a choice must be made to save a family member or keep the fact the code breaker secret is heartbreaking.
The casting here is marvellous, Charles Dance is the personification of a Naval Admiral and Mark Strong has really found a niche as the murky security services operative. Matthew Goode and Keira Knightly lead further strong support as the Bletchley Gang in Hut 8. The feel of the film is that of a labour of love and respect for the real folk that they play.
The final scenes of the movie and the obligatory denouement credits left me at once deeply sad and deeply proud of a man who gave up everything for the idea that would ultimately shorten the length of the War and saved countless lives.