‘Empire of Light’ : the real cinéma !

‘Empire of Light’, the new movie from 1917 and Skyfall’s director: Sam Mendes. In the cast : Olivia Colman (The Crown), Micheal Ward (The A List), Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!) and even Toby Jones (Captain America: First Avenger). Premiered at the 2022 Telluride Film Festival, this romantic drama reveals a breathtaking scenario.

With this new movie, Sam Mendes brings us into an old cinema of the 1980s in England. There, we get to meet Hillary (Olivia Colman), manager of the «Empire» cinema, Donald Ellis (Colin Firth), director of the theater and Norman (Toby Jones), the projectionist. But the history of the Empire and the life of Hillary will be upset by the arrival of Stephen (Michael Ward), a new black employee who came to work in this cinema while he is waiting to find a university that will accept him.

Cinema as a centerpiece !

Throughout the history of cinema, this movie presents major aspects such as mental health issues and racism. Indeed, the two main characters Stephen and Hillary find themselves confronted with these two problems. Hillary, this life-altering woman suffers from mental illness. For Stephen, he is confronted to the England of Margaret Thatcher under the influence of many racist movements such as the Skinheads. Everyone will find comfort in this new relationship between our two protagonists.
The cinema is present everywhere, in the movie in general but also in a metaphorical way since cinema is a kind of representation of comfort for every single characters of this film. Like the wounded pigeon hidden on the floor of the Empire, this cinema is a cure for the characters.

In conclusion, ‘Empire of Light’ takes us through a story that is both emotional and moving. In every way, this movie is a real cinematic experience, describing cinema as a place of pleasure but also cinema as an art that cannot be neglected. This is the kind of movie that is described by the sentence : “This is cinema!”.  A lot of tissues will probably be needed during the watching and the only one that we can blame are the actors ! Well, after seeing the trailer, no more excuses for not going to applaud this visual beauty!