Review: Empire Of Light ‘A Beautiful Tribute To Cinema’

By Gary

A drama about the power of human connection during turbulent times, set in an English coastal town in the early 1980s.

Hilary (Olivia Colman – The Crown) is a cinema line manager struggling with her mental health, and Stephen (Micheal Ward – Top Boy) is a new employee longing to escape the provincial town where he faces daily adversity.

Together they find a sense of belonging and experience the healing power of music, cinema, and community.

The cinema also has an impressive support cast including Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) who is the Cinema owner and Toby Jones who is the projectionist and Tom Brooke (The Crown) who also work in the cinema.

Empire of light is magically Directed by Sam Mendes (Skyfall) and film is also beautifully shot.

Although this is Sam Mendes’ ninth film as a director, Empire of Light marks the first time he directed from a screenplay he had written by himself.

All of his other films, including his first writing credit, 1917 (2019), were directed from scripts by other screenwriters.

This film is love letter to older cinema set in the early 80s.

It is a very moody and atmospheric drama which is character driven.

The story has elements that deal with Mental Health issues, Racism, Sexism, and class struggles of the time.

Olivia Colman is outstanding in the lead role in this movie, she delivers a really powerful and emotional performance.

While Toby Jones was very believable in his part; I actually believe he could be this character a old fashioned projectionist. He always nails these down to earth characters, and he is a very good character actor.

It’s a beautiful tribute to the magic of cinema that cinephiles will enjoy, but for viewers less passionate about the seventh art, it might be difficult to genuinely care.

My Rating: 7/10