Flash Movie Review: Empire of Light
THE WEEK HAD BEEN EXTREMELY STRESSFUL. Work was challenging and my kitchen demolition was just starting up. The idea of going home and dealing with the new logistics of eating and washing dishes was too much for me to handle after work; so, I decided to go to the movies. With the Academy Awards ceremony taking place in a few weeks, I was excited that I could catch an Oscar nominated film before the telecast. Traffic was heavy which added to the negativity of the past week and my stress, because I was cutting close the time it would take me to get to the theater before the start of the movie. By the time I found a parking space at the theater, it was past the start time; but, I knew there was at least fifteen minutes worth of previews before the actual start of the picture. I ran from the parking garage to the lobby of the theater, checked in with the ticket taker, made a stop at the restroom, then made my way down the hallway to my theater. By the time I settled into my assigned seat, the last film trailer was nearly finished. I had made it in the nick of time and was hoping the movie would provide me with what I needed. A QUICK AD FOR THE THEATER flashed on the screen as an announcer stated the feature presentation was starting. The lights, which were already dim, lowered completely and the theater was filled with only the tiny LED lights outlining the stairs and exits. The movie started on the wide screen; a setting from an international city in a different time appeared before me. I was familiar with the city, having visited it some time ago. The few patrons in the theater (it was weeknight after all) were quiet and far enough away for me to get transported into the story uninterrupted. This is the ultimate form of relaxation for me; to find myself teleported and inserted into the actions taking place in front of me. All thoughts about the various stresses I was dealing with were pushed out of my mind; or at least out of my consciousness for the time being. I was in that city and experiencing the same effects as the main characters. The story was beautiful and by the end I felt completely relaxed and cozy. That is the magic of being in a movie theater; I can find myself anywhere based on what was showing on the screen. There are very few theaters I have been to that have not allowed me this wonderful experience and I just know the theater set in this romantic drama would be one that would provide me such a trip. DURING A TIME OF UNREST, A small group of individuals find refuge in their local movie palace where they work. With Olivia Coleman (The Lost Daughter, The Crown-TV) as Hilary, Micheal Ward (Blue Story, The A List-TV) as Stephen, Colin Firth (A Single Man, The King’s Speech) as Donald Ellis, Toby Jones (The Wonder, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Norman and Tom Brooke (The Death of Stalin, Preacher-TV) as Neil; this Oscar nominated film had moments of magic in it. Foremost, it was the cast led by Olivia and Micheal that kept me in the story. Next, I enjoyed the way human connections were on display. What I did not understand in parts was the script/story. I could not tell if the story was supposed to be a tribute to movies and I found one of the character’s revelations of racism did not ring true for me. At least the acting and sets were wonderful as I watched Olivia prove she was worthy of her Oscar nomination. This was a touching, adult movie that was almost great.
2 ¾ stars