Empire of Light

Empire of Light

A love story set in and around an old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.

  • Released: 2022-11-12
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Stars: Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, Sara Stewart, Adrian McLoughlin, Spike Leighton, Ashleigh Reynolds, Mark Goldthorp, Dylan Blore, Eliza Glock, Tim Samuels, Jamie Whitlow, Dougie Boyall, D.J. Bailey, George Whitehead
  • Director: Sam Mendes
  • ethanbresnett - 12 January 2023
    A film deserving of much more love
    Empire of Light is such a beautiful piece of cinema, oozing class, poignancy and power.

    The story follows Olivia Coleman's Hilary, who forms an unlikely bond with Micheal Ward's Stephen whilst working together at the Empire cinema in Margate.

    This style of story is right up my street. A mismatched pair who find solace and comfort in each other. It is beautifully done and packs in so many themes and different angles. I do think that some of the themes are dealt with in a bit of a ham-fisted way, and a bit more refinement would have been welcome but this is a relatively minor criticism. On the whole the story is very well crafted.

    The performances are top notch. Olivia Colman really shines and is pushed to the limit by the layers of her character. Micheal Ward is a more than worthy opposite for her with a great leading performance.

    With the cinematography in the hands of Roger Deakins the film was always going to be a visual treat. There is a melancholic majesty to the cinema set that Deakins captures which is gorgeous. As always he photographs the characters with such sympathy and feeling.

    To top it all off the soundtrack perfectly compliments the themes of the film and brings even more emotion to the piece.

    I'm surprised this film isn't getting more love as it really blew me away and has so much power and emotion to it. Empire of Light is a real triumph in my opinion.
  • afmartin-27954 - 2 January 2023
    Really Good Film
    You know with Mendes/Deakins you're getting the best, but Colman and Ward steal the show. I am perplexed by the lower reviews here with all the hot garbage that is released in cinema these days. God forbid a human being story is told as opposed to another explosion/action film or super hero movie. This one has incredible acting, storytelling and has obvious pertinent themes that ring as true today (unfortunately) as they would have 40 years ago. Mendes is up for best Director, Colman for best Actor and Ward for best supporting and it's easily in the running for film of the year. If you want glitz and flash with trendy crap, look elsewhere.