Empire of Light (Sam Mendes, 2022) wr. Sam Mendes, dp Roger Deakins; Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Toby Jones, Colin Firth
You, Sam Mendes, conceive of an art deco cinema by the seaside with an owner and three employees, including a cute projectionist. The woman employee is screwing the owner, but then becomes interested in the other employee, whom the projectionist teaches how to project 35mm film. You hire Roger Deakins to shoot the film. Perfect. You might make a film as good as the one in which Peter Sellers plays the projectionist in the Bijou Theatre (The Smallest Show on Earth, Basil Dearden, 1957).
But not if you make her bananas and him black as the ace of spades. And have her talking about her lithium (as medication) and him getting nearly kicked to death by skinheads. Too many plots, Sam. Don't play it again.
Wikipedia page, with summary of the film's reception: 'The film has received mixed to average reviews. ...'
IMDb page, with links to critical reviews. (Peter Bradshaw liked it.)
Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 14 February, 2023 | Now: 12 September, 2023