2021 ( UK ) ( Biography, Drama, History )
DIRECTOR: Will Sharpe
STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Andrea Riseborough
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Louis Wain, the Victorian painter who painted cats. He painted hundreds if not thousands of them with big googly eyes, gathered round the dinner table, serving tea or slurping at straws.
Cumberbatch delivers a vibrating performance as Wain, whose dexterous skill with a pencil has earned him a full-time gig as an illustrator at the Illustrated London News. His dad’s death has left him in charge of a boisterous but cash-strapped household of five sisters and a mother. A love affair with governess Emily Richardson (Claire Foy) gives way to tragedy, followed by success. However, the artist’s increasingly surreal and psychedelic cat pictures begin to reflect his deteriorating sanity.
This film is a tender story about mental health that is both imaginatively and empathetically portrayed.