Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley draw huge crowds at the red carpet for The Imitation Game
Even if half the self-professed Cumberbitches haven’t a clue how a cryptanalyst earns his keep or what on earth a logician does, Benedict Cumberbatch (also last year’s festival it-man) caused enough of a stir to close off King Street outside the Princess of Wales Theatre Tuesday for the red carpet opening of his latest film, The Imitation Game. Director Morten Tyldum’s biopic follows famed Cambridge mathematician and pioneering computer engineer Alan Turing as he cracks the Nazi Enigma code and gives the Allies the upper hand in the battle for intelligence in WW2, only to be prosecuted a few years later for being openly gay. A sweaty Cumberbatch skipped the back half of the rug for the cooler climes of the theatre, but co-star Keira Knightley pinch-hit on questions about injustice and genius gone unsung, noting that her character, Joan Clarke—Turing’s fellow code breaker, confidante and one-time fiancée—was brilliant in her own right and fought a criminally uphill battle for recognition. Like Cumberbatch, cast mates Matthew Goode and Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech made a quick break for the theatre, so we mostly bugged film impresario Harvey Weinstein, who we found glad-handing by the stairs. Does he think The Imitation Game will win anything shiny for his mantle? “Oh, I don’t know,” he laughs. Isn’t it cute when the rich and incredibly powerful play coy?