Sunday, September 14, 2014

TIFF 2014 Concludes: Benedict Cumberbatch's 'The Imitation Game' Won People's Choice

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game
Today, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced the winners of their awards, but the top prize for the Grolsch People's Choice Award went to The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch. This was my third favorite film from the 14 films I saw, and I knew that either it or Theory of Everything would win. However, the two runners up were Learning to Drive and St. Vincent. Disturbingly, Theory of Everything, the Stephen Hawkings' film, wasn't even in the top three.

In hindsight, The Imitation Game had all the hallmarks and TIFF hype for an eventual winner. After all, the lead actor of the film was featured on the cover of NOW, the TIFF festival guide magazine. Duh! When I left Toronto late Wednesday, I learned soon afterwards that a surprise THIRD screening of 'Game' was going to play at the Princess of Wales theatre on Thursday. Had I not been too stubborn in my support of what I believed to be a slightly better film, I should have known to accurately predict The Imitation Game, a film backed by Oscar Marketing Grand Wizard, Harvey Weinstein. Duh, again!

I do believe that The Imitation Game lucked out in winning this award only because Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, skipped TIFF. That film will have played at all the major Fall film festivals except TIFF, and had it played there, I would be writing about a different winner. Be that as it may, I did enjoy Game and I think it's a very good film, but certainly not the best. We'll see how it manages to hang on with this stamp of approval from Toronto through a tough Oscar season of great films yet to be seen, and see if it could bring home Oscar gold for Benedict and Keira.


  1. All three, Birdman, The Theory of Everything, and The Imitation Game, were at the more sedate and academic Telluride Film Festival the week before and I'm NOT sorry to tell you that The Imitation Game was the clear winner over Birdman and The Theory of Everything.

    A magazine was also conducting a poll and reported that nine out of ten people at Telluride said the best film they saw was The Imitation Game. So it already HAS gone up against Birdman -- that makes your statement questionable, that it "lucked out" because Birdman wasn't at TIFF. Maybe you're just having one of those subjective moments that turns into hyperbole on the page (witnessed by your need to lace this article with "duhs.")

    1. You're a 50 year old woman, why don't you act your age and stop trolling this site. I'm tiring of you.

  2. It all comes down to (film) politics. It's the same old story every year. Most often it isn't the best film that win the awards. So I understand the "duhs.