The Imitation Game, the Weinstein produced World War II drama about the scientist and mathematician Alan Turing, has won the Grolsch's People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival - a key barometer for the Oscars.

The Imitation GameBenedict Cumberbatch [center] in 'The Imitation Game'

Morten Tyldum's drama stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, who helped to defeat the Nazis by developing a new code-breaking machine. It has always been the plan for The Imitation Game to make an assault on the Oscars - it's pencilled in for release on November 21 - and the People's Choice Award will strengthen its campaign. Five of the six past winners of the award and landed a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars while Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech and 12 Years a Slave all went on to win the prize.

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"Benedict Cumberbatch is odds-on to be nominated for an Oscar (at the very least) for his brilliant turn as Alan Turing," said Kaleem Aftab of the Independent. 

"Morten Tydlum's The Imitation Game is a first-rate biopic, a thrilling espionage game that's beautifully crafted and acted," wrote Sean O'Connell of Cinema Blend.

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The Imitation Game may or may not win the biggest prize in cinema in February, though its star Cumberbatch will almost certainly be amongst the favorites to win Best Actor. We've now got a clearer picture of how that category will shape up and the Sherlock actor could find himself up against fellow Brit Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), veteran Bill Murray (St Vincent), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) and the reenergized Michael Keaton (Birdman).

In the Best Actress stakes, Reese Witherspoon continues to create Oscars buzz for Jean-Marc Vallée 'Wild' while Felicity Jones impressed the Toronto audiences with Theory of Everything.

Watch the trailer for 'The Imitation Game':