Review – The Empire Of Light

Posted in Drama, Film Reviews, Film Reviews 2022, Genre, Romance by - December 07, 2022
Review – The Empire Of Light

Empire of Light (2022)
Rated R ‧ Romance/Drama ‧ 1h 59m
Written by Sam Mendes
Directed by ‎Sam Mendes


Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Monica Dolan, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, Toby Jones, and Colin Firth.


(In their own words) A romance develops in a beautiful old cinema In the south coast of England in the 1980s.


The BEST things about the film

  1. Character Driven – This is a character driven piece. It was very nice examining these characters. 
  2. Olivia Coleman is great. She’s a magnificent actor and her roller coaster of emotions in this film seem spot on. 
  3. Well directed.  The pacing and the moments are really nice. 


The WORST things about the Film

  1. The story feels like it meanders a bit. 
  2. No oomph. There is no feeling at the end of it like we accomplished anything big with the film.


Most films are about one or two elements. This is really a character driven piece about an unlikely romance between a middle-aged white woman and a college age young black man in the 1980s.  The film seems relatively simple, but I think it’s a lot more complex than most people will give it credit for. This film delved into mental health, workplace sexual harassment, racism, and taboo matters of the heart.  At first it seems like it’s just going to be another film about the joy of cinema, when there’s actually more discussion about how the main character won’t take time to go sit and watch a movie.  The story moves swiftly and your affection for each of the characters grows in complex ways, much like what happens between the characters. 


If you move fast enough you can’t see the darkness




Olivia Coleman shines as the lead actress is this character driven romance drama set at a film house in 1980s England. Sam Mendes directs this film with much care and attention to careful pacing and tender moments between characters. Very much a character driven piece it is interesting, thoughtful and full of partial explorations of the challenges within a complicated relationship and mental health issues. A well-done film that meanders at times and lacks a huge understanding of why we are seeing this story. Nonetheless, it is worth seeing for Coleman’s performance, insight into the 80s in England, and exemplary film direction. 

My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It. 

Empire Of Light gets a Like It.



This post was written by
When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.

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