Agency client Sam Mendes makes his first solo outing as a writer and director in EMPIRE OF LIGHT, a love letter to cinema and his first film since the critically-acclaimed war film 1917.
Starring Olivia Colman as Hilary, the depressed front-of-house manager at a faded art deco cinema in the 1980s, the film takes shape around her relationship with a young usher called Stephen, played by Michael Ward (Top Boy), who takes a job at the cinema whilst figuring out his plans for the future.
The film also stars Colin Firth as Mr. Ellis, Hilary’s boss at the cinema, and Toby Jones as Norman, the cinema’s longtime projectionist.
It’s an achingly lovely film—the best Mendes has yet made.VANITY FAIR
With this bittersweet gem of a film, Mendes has given spectators a modest but profound gift: the reminder that, at their best, movies offer us not just a refuge, but a way to join the thrum of life, in all its pain and ungovernable glory.THE WASHINGTON POST
Deakins’ work is beautiful, Colman is incredible, and the role of Stephen proves to be a breakout for Ward.LOS ANGELES TIMES