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Empire of Light

Sam Mendes | 2022 | 119 MINS
UK/USA
Nominations: Oscars 1

The ‘love letter to the movies’ genre is revived in this poignant, wonderfully acted drama about love, life and films. Starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth.

In Detail

A depressed cinema manager called Hilary, works at the Empire cinema on Margate seafront in 1981 as Britain swan-dives into recession, unemployment and widespread racism.

The staff at the Empire are family – of sorts – including a pompous manager and a dedicated projectionist (Toby Jones). But then the Empire hires a new ticket-seller: Stephen, a young Black man who has an instant connection with Hilary and their relationship blossoms.

The movie slowly casts a spell, eventually conjuring another grand, if slightly odder, piece of fine art from a master director.

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