The Imitation Game Cracks Code as Newport Beach Film Festival's Best Picture of 2014

Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch, center) and his team help England crack Germany's World War II Enigma machine code in The Imitation Game.
Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch, center) and his team help England crack Germany's World War II Enigma machine code in The Imitation Game.
Jack English

The Newport Beach Film Festival is leaping into awards season, as the Weinstein Co. announced today the fest is awarding its film The Imitation Game two of its highest accolades: Best Picture and Outstanding Ensemble Cast.

Hate the Player, Not The Imitation Game

The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) honors will be dished out at a members-only Orange County Film Society (OCFS) screening Monday, when The Imitation Game cast and crew members are scheduled to attend and participate in a post-screening audience Q&A. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at Lido Live Theater in Newport Beach. (Member seating is limited; visit orangecountyfilmsociety.com for details.)

Cast members are also scheduled to attend when NBFF and its partners OCFS, Screen International and Visit Newport Beach California host a private reception at the ME Hotel in London on Feb. 5, before the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards.

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"Our tremendous and heartfelt thanks go to the Newport Beach Film Festival and their partners Screen International and the Orange County Film Society," says The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum in a joint statement by NBFF and The Weinstein Co. "Their support is so important to us and we're incredibly proud to receive such prestigious honors from them for The Imitation Game this year. This is a film that recognizes a man who was a hero and saved lives, but was sadly persecuted in his lifetime. We are grateful to be shining a long overdue light on him."

"After the Newport Beach Film Festival team screened The Imitation Game at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was abundantly clear that this film and its cast were standouts," says Gregg Schwenk, the NBFF CEO, in the same statement. "The film was exceptional at portraying the legacy and contribution of Allen Turing and the code breakers."

During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician and cryptanalyst Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. But they instead arrested Turing for "gross indecency," an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality. What these officials did not know was they were actually incriminating a war hero and pioneer of modern-day computing. Turing had previously led a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers that cracked the supposedly unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine.

The Imitation Game, which opened in select theaters on Nov. 28 before going wide on Christmas day, has received Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Motion Picture Actor in a Drama (Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Keira Knightley), Best Screenplay (by Graham Moore) and Best Original Score (by Alexandre Desplat). It has also been nominated for three Screen Actors Guild awards and was among the American Film Institute's top 11 films of the year.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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