Ready for the Academy Awards this Sunday? Need help winning your Oscar pool? ScreenCrush Editor-in-Chief Mike Sampson and Managing Editor Matt Singer are here to help. Or potentially make things worse. Honestly, they’re not great at guessing the winners. But they’re going to try their best.
The Imitation Game
Benedict Cumberbatch is a man of his word. If he says he’s going to appear on your late night show, he’s going to appear on your late night talk show, for goodness sakes! Even if he just got married! Like, the day before! Across the world! He’ll still be there!
If you’re going to play the Oscar prediction game, the Screen Actors Guild Awards are often one of the biggest indicators of who’s going to get nominated and who’s going to win. The actors represent the largest portion of the Academy’s voting body, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the nominations for the 21st Annual SAG Awards are hugely representative of what we will end up seeing when Oscar nominations are announced early next year. And that’s a shame: These are some of the safest and most predictable nominations in a long time.
In cinematic circles, there are a few names for this time of year. Awards-minded individuals call the fall “Oscar season” because this is when the campaigning for little gold men gets particularly hot and heavy. The late film critic Roger Ebert used to call it “good movie season,” because the byproduct of all that campaigning was all of the studios’ most promising and intellectually stimulating titles getting released together in the span of two months. In recent years, I’ve started to call the fall by a different name: Biopic season, because barely a week goes by without a new biographical film.
World War II involved more than two dozen countries spread across six continents and tens of millions of soldiers. But according to ‘The Imitation Game’ the entire conflict hinged on the actions of half a dozen crossword puzzle enthusiasts in a couple of huts in the South of England. It was there that a team of cryptographers created a revolutionary machine that could decode Nazi messages and turned the tide of the war for the Allies. Their leader was Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), a mathematician who was rude, disrespectful, and socially awkward in the extreme—and also one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century. ‘The Imitation Game’ considers his life: His great achievements, his most-closely hidden secrets, and the ways in which the latter may have helped inspire the former.
Matthew Goode has a way of being the best thing in a lot of movies, even without a lot of starring roles. In ‘The Imitation Game,’ he is surrounded by talented actors (and actors getting Oscar buzz), yet, still, Goode is a standout as the rival and sometimes friend of Alan Turing —the man who helped break the Nazi code and was then punished by his own government for being gay, which eventually led to Turing’s suicide. Ahead, in an extended interview (we had enough time that even ‘Chasing Liberty’ was brought up for reasons I can’t 100 percent defend), Goode discusses his what-should-be-awards-buzzing performance and why he can’t be in as many movies as we’d maybe like him to be.
People love watching famous people accept trophies. So, every so often, The Huffington Post's Chris Rosen and ScreenCrush's Mike Ryan will speculate about these trophies and which famous person might win one. It will be fun. Let's talk some trophies!
In case you weren't aware, perhaps because of all the war and code-cracking action at play in the trailers, the lead character in the TIFF 2014 standout and early awards hopeful 'The Imitation Game' is gay. I know, it's nothing like we've seen in the...
This is why awards season is stupid. (Full disclosure: I kind of like awards season sometimes, but it is stupid.) We can’t live in a world in which the media can see ‘The Theory of Everything’ or ‘The Imitation Game’ and just say, “That was a good movie,” then move on with our lives. No, it will be the battle for Best Actor between Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.
On Thursday, the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off and this marks (along with Venice Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival) that, yes, Oscar season just fired its starting gun. I will be headed to Toronto to cover the festival for ScreenCrush and, well, it's a little overwhelming. There are a lot of good movies! There's Benedict Cumberbatch playing WWII code breaker Alan Turing in 'The Imitation Game'; and Jake Gyllenhaal as a sleazy freelance photographer in 'Nightcrawler,' and Jon Stweart's directorial debut, 'Rosewater'; and the Cannes darling, 'Foxcatcher,' starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo. And two -- count 'em -- TWO Adam Sandler movies that just might signal his long-awaited return to, let's say, well reviewed films with 'The Cobbler' and Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children.' Anyway, I can't decide on my own, so we enlisted the help of a slew of respected film journalists who are also headed to TIFF and asked them what it is they are all looking forward to seeing.