Rent Empire of Light (2022)

3.5 of 5 from 277 ratings
1h 50min
Rent Empire of Light Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
From director and writer Sam Mendes (1917 and Skyfall), and set in an English coastal town in the early 1980s, 'Empire of Light' is a moving drama about the power of human connection during turbulent times.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , Roman Hayeck-Green, , Dougie Boyall, , , , Jamie Whitelaw,
Directors:
Producers:
Pippa Harris, Sam Mendes
Writers:
Sam Mendes
Others:
Micheal Ward, Roger Deakins
Studio:
Walt Disney
Genres:
Drama, Romance
Collections:
Award Winners, BAFTA Nominations Competition 2023
BBFC:
Release Date:
15/03/2023
Run Time:
110 minutes
Languages:
English Audio Description Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
15/03/2023
Run Time:
114 minutes
Languages:
English Audio Description Dolby Digital 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:
Canadian French, English Hard of Hearing, Latin American Spanish
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.39:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
Bonus:
  • Featurette: Creating 'Empire of Light'

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Reviews (7) of Empire of Light

Olivia Coleman's fine performance cannot rescue a lightweight piece - Empire of Light review by PD

Spoiler Alert
21/03/2023

This period melodrama tries earnestly to be many things at once: a tale of mismatched romance, a portrait of nervous breakdown, a snapshot of Thatcher’s racially charged Britain, a love letter to cinema, but unfortunately ends up not being about very much at all, for despite Olivia Coleman's fine performance as the tormented seaside cinema duty manager, none of these themes are treated in any depth. There's some nice touches - shots of the once-grand cinema interiors are very evocative, together with period-accurate production design that transports us back in time to the early 80s very effectively, and there's a good turn from Toby Jones (the only character, strangely, who displays any enthusiasm towards the films on offer), but none of this can hide a painfully thin script, whilst the central racial theme is far too often laid on with such a heavy trowel that it (of course) only loses its intended impact as a result. Undoubtedly heartfelt, but ultimately forgettable, I'm afraid.

5 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Messy - Empire of Light review by EJ

Spoiler Alert
30/03/2023

This was not an enjoyable watch: Indeed, I found it hard to continue after, what was to be the first of MANY unpleasant sex scenes, in which there was an air of abuse. The writing was shallow and I really didn’t feel it had anything to say. Too much of Olivia Colman out of control and the other characters’ story lines were weak: What was the point of having Toby Jones’s character announcing he hadn’t seen his son for years and that was as far as that went?? A messy, uncomfortable watch. The only positive thing was the wonderful building: It’s such a shame cinemas like this were allowed to disappear, to be replaced by soulless multi-plex cinemas; which I detest. 

3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Moving Drama That is a Must See - Empire of Light review by GI

Spoiler Alert
01/02/2023

A poignant drama set against the backdrop of a 1980s Britain nosediving into recession, unemployment and violent racism, the time of inner city race riots. Set in Margate in a seafront cinema called The Empire, which was once a grand four screen picture house with a ballroom but is now fading with only two screens left operating. The selfish manager Ellis (Colin Firth) oversees a small family of staff led by Hilary (Olivia Colman), the duty manager, who is conscientious and dedicated to her job along with the projectionist (Toby Jones) and a team of ticket sellers etc. But Hilary deals daily with her loneliness and depression that all times threatens to spill over into a breakdown. When a young black man, Stephen (Micheal Ward) joins the team his open honesty and kindly nature attracts Hilary and they begin a tentative relationship. But when that ends Hilary's mental state declines drastically. This is an ode to the magic of cinema but that is not the main theme here. This is a film about human connection and bittersweet relationships highlighting that everyone carries private demons that are often never revealed to even those closet to them. The film doesn't shy away from the violence erupted from blind racism either. Colman is nothing short of awesome here delivering a note perfect performance as the emotionally unpredictable Hilary, indeed when she does 'lose it' her set piece rant is a masterclass in great screen acting. A sweet, very heartfelt film from director Sam Mendes who also wrote the screenplay with a real feel for the times and humanity.

2 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

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