I’m a firm believer that an artist’s work is a reflection of who they are. That was certainly the case for Louis Wain, who became known for his playful, weird pictures of big-eyed cats. In life, he was a man of many eccentricities, and Benedict Cumberbatch brings them to the big screen in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.
The film stars Cumberbatch as Wain, an eccentric burdened with the responsibility of providing for his large family. While many of his stranger pursuits failed, he found success as an artist of animals, particularly cats. It was a gift he discovered with the help of his wife, played by Claire Foy, as she was struggling with an illness.
This was the second of two major lead roles for Cumberbatch at TIFF. The other, Jane Campion’s Power of the Dog, earned Cumberbatch loads of Oscar buzz for his performance, while Louis Wain sorta flew under the radar. Audiences love Cumberbatch as the quirky genius, though, so who knows how both films will play out when released.
Written and directed by Will Sharpe, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain opens in select theaters on October 22nd, followed by Amazon Prime Video on November 5th. You can check out my review here!
The extraordinary true story of eccentric British artist Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose playful, sometimes even psychedelic pictures helped to transform the public’s perception of cats forever. Moving from the late 1800s through to the 1930s, we follow the incredible adventures of this inspiring, unsung hero as he seeks to unlock the “electrical” mysteries of the world and, in so doing, to better understand his own life and the profound love he shared with his wife Emily Richardson (Claire Foy).