The Benedict Cumberbatch performances have been garnering our attention for some time now. The English actor seems to have been riding the crest of a wave since the huge success of Sherlock. His portrayal of the English detective is being described as seminal, outclassing all previous incarnations by some really great actors, but he has done so much more than Sherlock. Here are some Benedict Cumberbatch performances you should check out.
1. The Imitation Game
This is one of the most hotly anticipated Benedict Cumberbatch performances in his career to date. And there is talk of Oscar nomination. In the Imitation Game, Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the flawed genius who helped cracked the German Enigma code and helped turned the course of the Second World War at sea. Supported by a strong British cast including Keira Knightley and Charles Dance, it is a compassionate look at the life of a man who recently received a posthumous pardon from the UK government for the punishment they inflicted upon him for being homosexual. The imitation Game hits US movie theaters on November 21st.
2. Parade's End
There is something about his look that really lends Benedict Cumberbatch to wartime drama. In Parade's End we go back to World War I, in a miniseries based on the tetralogy (four books) written by Ford Madox Ford, referencing his own experience in the trenches. Cumberbatch plays an English aristocrat with a mean wife, who gets entangled in an affair with a suffragette. The books are widely acclaimed as being among the greatest portrayal of love in wartime, so if you love British history, you'll enjoy this.
3. The Penguins of Madagascar
This man definitely has something for the spy game. He played a part in the UK program Spooks, was in Cambridge Spies, and appeared in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. So clearly he's not new to the world of espionage, which makes him a great choice for the voice of Classified, the head of North Wind, a covert organization on a mission to save the world from the evil machinations of Dr. Octavius Brine. Coming to movie theaters in early December.
4. Little Favor
I think you'll find this one of the most surprising performances from Benedict Cumberbatch. It is rather gruesome and very violent. It is a short film and was made by the production company part owned by Cumberbatch Sunnymarch Ltd actually being financed by crowd funding. If you don't mind screen violence and love thrillers with some surprising twists, give this an airing.
If you're up to date with the goings on of hot British actors, you'll know that Eddie Redmayne has recently been seen on screen as Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. However, Benedict Cumberbatch also played Stephen Hawking back in 2004 in a made for TV movie. It was his first lead role and earned him a BAFTA nomination.
6. To the Ends of the Earth
I do love me some period drama. There's huge pedigree to this story. The TV mini-series is based on the trilogy of books written by William Golding (Nobel Laureate for Lord of the Flies), one of which won the Booker Prize. It follows the story of Edward Talbot (Cumberbatch) on his journey (both physical and of self discovery) from England to Australia in 1812, when the land down under was still a new colony.
7. The Last Enemy
One of the things I love about the roles Benedict Cumberbatch takes is that there are certain threads connecting the stories. We've already seen he has played in a number of productions with an espionage theme. We've seen the wartime time theme (not just the two I mentioned but there's also War Horse, Atonement, and Dunkirk) and then there's this next one. In The Fifth Estate, Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, a man who believes in information for the public good. In The Last Enemy the theme is the perils of personal data online.
This is just a small selection of Benedict Cumberbatch performances past and future. Of course, we still have new episodes of Sherlock to look forward to, as well as new movie roles. (He refused to be drawn on the question of whether he's in the next Star Trek movie when quizzed by Graham Norton just recently!) Have you seen any of these I mentioned or will you be watching them soon?