In my 9.3 Telluride review I described The Imitation Game as being about (a) “the personal, bureaucratic and old-school morality issues that interfered with and ultimately shut down the beautiful mind of Enigma code-breaker Alan Turing” and (b) “a sad but fascinating tale about the lonely fate of an eccentric, exceptional genius-hero, and how 1940s and ’50s Britain gave him grief every step of the way.”

I didn’t say this at the time but The Imitation Game feels somewhat tedious in this respect. It’s almost entirely about how Turing’s superiors and co-workers didn’t care for his personality. In scene after scene we watch his Bletchley Park colleagues express irritation and disdain about his aloof, superior manner and general lack of social skills. It reminds us of a lesson that we all have to learn and swallow early on, which is that you must be pleasantly sociable with people you work with (or hang or go to school with) because they’ll make your life hell if you’re not.

The sentiments of Turing’s co-workers are basically as follows: “Most people come to realize by the age of 10 or thereabouts that extra-smart, extra-perceptive people lack a certain normality. They tend to be flaky and eccentric and inwardly directed and not very good with telling jokes and schmoozing and flirting and general shoptalk. We, however, are different. We at Bletchley Park do not recognize that brilliant types need to be cut a little slack, and we certainly don’t recognize this in Mr. Turing’s case.

“Yes, we understand that he may be just the fellow to crack the Enigma code and therefore end the war sooner and save the lives of untold thousands of English and American troops, and that’s all well and good. But what matters to us is Mr. Turing’s social graces. All we care about is whether or not he’s friendly and chill and gracious and cool to hang with in the lunchroom. If he manages that, fine. But if he fails in this regard then fuck all of that end-the-war-sooner stuff. That’s not what rings our bell.”