Sunday, February 08, 2009


My husband is a big fan of Robert Harris's novels--Pompeii, Fatherland, Imperium, and Enigma
--so when he asked me to find the movie of Enigma I happily jumped on it. It wasn't so easy to find as I thought it would be. Netflix didn't have it, which shocked me as the movie was released in 2001 and has a number of stars in it (Kate Winslett and Jeremy Northam lead the pack). Amazon also doesn't carry it as a new item, though Amazon Sellers had some used copies, so I turned to my library, which obtained it through interlibrary loan.

It was a wonderfully interesting movie, and though my husband said the book was much better (more detailed and more suspenseful), I thought it plenty detailed and suspenseful as the hero, Tom Jericho, returns to Bletchley Park (the English center for German code cracking during WWII) from a "rest" at Cambridge after an emotional and mental breakdown that resulted from overwork when he cracked the German Enigma machine and was abandoned by the woman he fell in love with.

The acting and script were both terrific, with Dougray Scott playing Tom Jericho as a brilliant mathematician who can barely keep his boiling emotions under control and Kate Winslett as an equally brilliant code cracker who is straining under the constraints of being patronized and dismissed because she is a woman. Jeremy Northam plays the spy catcher with a suavity that borders on oiliness.


  1. I saw this a while ago, and I remembered that I liked it but the actual story didn't stick in my mind. My local video store has it... or did have it. Thanks for blogging about it, I will "re" check it out.

  2. I'd be interested in hearing how you like it--glad your video store still has a copy. Not sure why it's not more readily available.

  3. The main reason I remember it at was all because I was flirting with a guy also standing in the "E" section and I was telling him how great it was and he was all interested in some action film on the same shelf. I don't recall anymore.

    Some films are still only released for renting only at certain video stores (like Miss Potter - it was only available at Blockbuster--which I cut ties with long ago--and no one saw the film because of this.

  4. Hi Jane! In my long list of films to watch, this is high on my list since a friend raved about it. I'm eager to see it with a cast and plot that seem promising!

  5. Charley - it's a wonderful movie, but was a bit hard to follow. Fascinating topic, and well-acted.

  6. Have you read the book yet? I enjoyed the movie, though I thought that Kate Winslet was far too attractive to play frumpy convincingly -but the book is far better.