So how does Sam Mendes decide to follow up the numerous accolades of his sterling war film, 1917? By getting as far from the battlefield as possible and into the comforting glow of the cinema with his latest, Empire of Light.
Set in an English coastal town in the early 1980s, Empire of Light stars Olivia Colman as Hilary, a troubled, isolated employee of the Empire movie theater. Her life is changed when she befriends Stephen (Michael Ward), a young Black man who begins working there and becomes the enthusiastic cure for her loneliness. While the two find an escape in their brief encounters in and around the cinema, it isn’t long before harsh reality begins to intrude.
Also in the cast are Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Toby Jones, Crystal Clarke, and Colin Firth. Mendes is back working with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, as well as composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
This looks like a sure-fire Oscar contender. Empire of Light opens in theaters on December 9th.