2022 ( UK | USA ) ( Drama, Romance )
Starring: Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth
Director: Sam Mendes
Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward shine in Sam Mendes’ sentimental ode to the power of cinema. Colin Firth plays the pompous manager of the Empire cinema, Margate in the early 1980s, with Toby Jones as the devoted projectionist and Olivia Colman as a long-serving duty manager. Hilary (Olivia Coleman), who often wears a stricken expression, is apparently recovering from a period of intense mental exhaustion, and being treated with what her doctor calls “marvelous stuff,” lithium. She eats Christmas dinner alone, but she hasn’t turned her back on life, attending dances and enjoying a collegial bond with her co-workers. Hilary’s boss, Mr. Ellis (Colin Firth), is a humourless chap who regularly summons her to his office for sex in the shadows. But with the arrival of a new employee, 20-ish Stephen (Micheal Ward), things shift for her and she feels seen, tapping into reserves of joy and strength.
Empire Of Light is a sentimental film but its message of love, tolerance and finding family wherever you can should make an impact in darkened rooms wherever it plays.