Olivia Colman’s 1980s cinema drama ‘Empire of Light’ reveals new trailer

A brand new trailer has been unveiled for Empire of Light!

Described as “a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema,” the movie is set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s.

The cast features some of our favourite British period drama actors, including Olivia Colman (The Crown) and Colin Firth (Pride & Prejudice).

Following the first teaser last month, you can watch the latest trailer here:

Also starring are Toby Jones (Detectorists), Crystal Clarke (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain), Tom Brooke (Sherlock), Tanya Moodie (A Discovery of Witches), Hannah Onslow (Ridley Road), and Micheal Ward (Small Axe).

Empire of Light was first screened in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will be released in US theatres on Friday 9th December.

It’ll follow into UK cinemas on Friday 13th January 2023.

Watch interviews with Olivia Colman and Colin Firth at the premiere here:

We’ve also now got an expanded synopsis which tells us a bit more about the movie’s story, which you can read here:

“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.”

Here’s a clip from the film:

Empire of Light is written and directed by Sam Mendes, the English filmmaker behind 1917, Skyfall, and Revolutionary Road.

Speaking about what inspired him to make the film, Mendes has revealed: “For me, that was the late ’70s and early ’80s: the music, the movies, the pop culture of that period generally formed who I was.”

He explained: “It was a period of great political upheaval in the UK, with a great deal of very incendiary racial politics – but at the same time, an amazing period for music and for culture generally – very creative, very politicised, very energised.”

1917 is available on DVD on Amazon.