Oscar-winning director of American Beauty, Skyfall and 1917, Sam Mendes, returns with his new movie, Empire of Light. The movie is a wistful drama centering around a fading English coastal cinema in the 1980s, and it boasts an all-star cast.
Oscar winner Olivia Colman leads as the troubled Hilary, the cinema's front-of-house manager who bonds with new usher Stephen (Top Boy's Micheal Ward). Also featuring: Colin Firth as the building's unctuous owner Mr. Elllis and Toby Jones as the projectionist Norman who has spent his career spinning magic out of the elusive relationship between light and celluloid.
Clad in all manner of nostalgic references (Oscar-winning British classic Chariots of Fire plays a key role in the storyline), this is perfect for those seeking classy, adult drama as we approach peak awards season. The movie holds a mirror up to the ugliness of early-eighties Britain but it also explores the illusory and beguiling spell that only cinema can cast.
The movie boasts a formidable pedigree. The Oscar-winning cinematographer behind 1917, Roger Deakins, spins burnished, gilded beauty from the cinema's interior and composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provide a lyrical counterpoint to the hardships faced by Hilary and Stephen. Check out the trailer below and don't miss Empire of Light at Cineworld from January 9.
Will Empire of Light be an Academy Awards frontrunner? Check out our Oscars 2023 predictions.