The Queue 9/5/14

Angelica Nahalka, Contributing Reporter

“The Imitation Game”

In Theaters: Nov. 21

Benedict Cumberbatch returns to period-piece cinema as another austere and complex genius, this time Alan Turing, the mathematician and computer science pioneer who helped crack the Nazi’s Enigma code and turned the course of World War II in England’s favor. “The Imitation Game” follows Turing’s struggle to break the unbreakable German code in the midst of war and his own struggles with homosexuality.

Keira Knightley portrays one of Turing’s assistants, an individual as brilliant as Turing himself. She provides brains and the support that pushes the group’s plan to success despite friction with the British Secret Intelligence Service and the public naysayers, making the film a story of triumph despite all odds.

Screenwriter Graham Moore drew upon his childhood fascination with computer science and the life of Alan Turing to write “The Imitation Game.” The film has been lauded by critics as an Oscar contender with particular praise of Cumberbatch’s performance.

“The Imitation Game” offers the same moody feel of Masterpiece Classic pieces, immersing the viewer in the troubled past of its characters. With its combination of somber imagery and tortured heroes, the film will appeal to fans of “Sherlock” or “Parade’s End.”

“This Is Where I Leave You”

In Theaters: Sept. 18

In director Shawn Levy’s latest film, four grown siblings reunite in their parents’ home for their father’s funeral, thus fulfilling their father’s dying wish of having them all under one roof for a week. “This Is Where I Leave You” uses an ensemble cast to bring life to Jonathan Tropper’s novel of the same name.

The siblings, portrayed by Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver from HBO’s “Girls” and Corey Stoll, who made an appearance as Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” They butt heads with each other and their extremely open mother, portrayed by Jane Fonda, while dealing with their own emotional baggage and the antics of old friends.

The film focuses heavily on the backstories of its characters and their development in today’s complex world. “This Is Where I Leave You” is a bittersweet portrayal of the struggles of adult life and the joy, redemption and ire family can bring.


In Theaters: Nov. 7

“The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart’s directorial debut depicts the experiences, and subsequent imprisonment, of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari during his coverage of the 2009 elections in Iran. The film is based on Bahari’s memoirs, which were adapted into screenplay by Stewart when no other writer would take on the task.

In “Rosewater,” Bahari, portrayed by Gael García Bernal, becomes absorbed in reporting the conflict following the elections. During his imprisonment, he gets a deep look inside the extremist mentality of the Iranian government.

Bahari’s real-life imprisonment had ties to Stewart’s show. Bahari had appeared in a “Daily Show” comedy sketch mocking the Iranian government, a piece that was later used by Bahari’s captor as evidence of his “media espionage.” Upon Bahari’s release, Stewart reached out to him in the interest of making “Rosewater.”

Despite controversy over the film’s portrayal of Iran, the film has already received extremely positive reviews, with many critics regarding “Rosewater” as an excellent directorial debut for Stewart.

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