The movie

Empire of Light

A drama about the power of human connection during turbulent times, set in an English coastal town, in the early 1980s.

Length: 115 min
Country: Great-Britain
Language spoken: English
Language subtitles: Dutch
Cast: Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Colin Firth, Hannah Onslow, Toby Jones, Crystal Clarke
Director: Sam Mendes
Release date: 06/04/2023


Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, ‘Empire of Light’ is a powerful and gripping tale of human connection and the magic of cinema, directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes. An all-star cast led by Oscar winner Olivia Colman, BAFTA winner Micheal Ward, Oscar winner Colin Firth, and Toby Jones bring to life the story a cinema manager (Colman), struggling with bipolar disorder, who begins a relationship with a new, younger employee (Ward). That he happens to be Black doesn’t sit well with some of her colleagues and friends…

‘The “love letter to the movies” genre is revived in this poignant, wonderfully acted drama about love, life, and films… Mendes brings his own distinctive sense of personal drama, his adroit handling of actors, and his sweet tooth for catchy jukebox slams, a style I remember from his “American Beauty”… A sweet, heartfelt, humane movie… It’s clearly a labour of love for Sam Mendes: love requited.”—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian