First Teaser for Sam Mendes' 'Empire of Light' Starring Olivia Colman
by Alex Billington
August 24, 2022
"Film. An illusion of life." Searchlight Pictures has revealed the first teaser trailer for the new Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road, Skyfall, 1917) film titled Empire of Light, his intimate love story about cinema set at an English coastal movie theater during the 1980s. It's premiering at the Toronto Film Festival and will likely show up in Telluride, before opening in theaters this December. Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward star in this poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema, directed by Sam Mendes and captured by iconic cinematographer Roger Deakins. I'll watch it just for Deakins' shots. "Ward gives an exceptional performance opposite Colman, who realizes another remarkable character, equal parts sweet and shocking, as a woman filled with emotions that are considered socially inappropriate to express." The film's cast also includes Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, & Crystal Clarke. With music by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. Well this looks amazing!! Another gorgeous love letter to the magic of movies and how much they mean to us, how much they can change us.
Here's the first teaser trailer (+ poster) for Sam Mendes' Empire of Light, direct from YouTube:
Synopsis for Mendes' Empire of Light direct from TIFF: The Empire is the kind of movie house you don’t see too often anymore, framed by bright lights and a beautiful marquee, graciously inviting all into its red-velvet seats. Hilary (Olivia Colman) serves at the front of house, opening the theatre every morning and overseeing a brimming concession stand. Meanwhile, her manager (Colin Firth) calls her into his office from time to time for illicit favours. It’s a gloomy routine that Hilary grudgingly repeats, but all her co-workers recognize that she’s been a lot quieter since returning to the job after a long absence. When Stephen (Micheal Ward) arrives as an eager new employee, the two form a quick, if outwardly unlikely, connection. Hilary hides a troubled past, struggling to manage her mental health, while Stephen, a young Black man, grapples with the racism rampant in 1980s Britain. Both wounded by aggressions outside their control, they find an escape and safe harbour in one another — but their relationship, like the Empire cinema itself, cannot last forever, and soon the pair must face the reality of their differing futures.
Empire of Light is directed by the acclaimed Oscar winning British filmmaker Sam Mendes, director of the films American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, Skyfall, Spectre, and 1917, as well as a few shorts and live theatre productions in the UK. The screenplay is also written by Sam Mendes. Produced by Pippa Harris and Sam Mendes. This will be premiering at the 2022 Toronto Film Festival this fall. Searchlight Pictures will then debut Mendes' Empire of Light in select US theaters starting on December 9th, 2022 later this year - during the awards season. First impression? How does that look?
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