Alan Turing was a mathematical genius who, along with a team during the early days of WW2, broke the Germans’ ‘unbreakable’ Enigma code, enabling the Allies ultimately to win the war. His designs and theories, moreover, set a generation of inventors on the road to the modern computer, pretty much creating life as we know it today. He was also gay.
The kicker was, even after Turing’s revolutioary work turned the tide of a WHOLE WORLD WAR, the British government persecuted him for being a homosexual—criminal at that time in the UK—and chemically castrated their own master code-breaker. Turning then killed himself and was only awarded a posthumous pardon from Great Britain LAST FUCKING YEAR. From the year of his conviction, 1952, until 2013, the man who practically single-handedly broke the Nazi’s codes and created the groundwork for today’s computers was a criminal.
So, what does the biopic show? LOTS and lots of well-costumed WW2-era Benedict Cumberbatch as the prickly, brilliant Turing, who’s just a bit different than his jolly colleagues—played by a who’s who of contemporary handsome British character actors, including Branson from Downton Abbey (Allen Leech) and Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance). Thankfully in this story of a famous and persecuted homosexual, Keira Knightley plays the OBVIOUS love-interest in this story with a tragic twist; however, that specific twist is BARELY MENTIONED AT ALL, except for queasy, vague allusions to Turing’s character having “secrets,” and, in a tortured voiceover, possibly “not fancying [Keira Knightley’s character] that way.”
That’s fucking awesome, y’all! There’s no way a queer audience would want the story of one of the few acknowledged heroes from our community who had a profound, hands-on effect on modern world history (meaning, that all of us aren’t now speaking German now because the Nazis lost) and then got truly and profoundly fucked over by his OWN government for the TRUTH of his queerness to ADDRESS that betrayal or even face the main character’s homosexuality WITH THE WORD."
Oh for fuck’s sake, really? They’re really going to leave out the GIANT TRAGEDY OF THE STORY OF ALAN TURING!?
Are we not living in 2014? Did we somehow travel back in time to a period when historical characters had to be closeted IN MOVIES ABOUT THEM?