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The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

  • Directed by Will Sharpe
  • Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Taika Waititi, Nick Cave
  • UK | 101mins | 2021 | rated (12A)

Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins


Film runtime: 1h 41m

Benedict Cumberbatch leads a vivid Victorian biopic of the great English cat-painter.

In the late 19th century, illustrator Louis Wain has just found a job in the London press when his beloved wife takes in a stray kitten, at a time when cats were widely seen as vermin. Determined to “wipe out the contempt in which the cat has been held”, he reinvents them in his drawings as colourful, multi-talented caricatures, and campaigns for better public treatment of them - but as his vision becomes brighter, his mental state disintegrates. In keeping with its striking subject, Sharpe depicts Wain’s world as luminous and almost psychedelic. The magic is offset by a thoughtful view of life with, and as, a neurologically unusual person, with empathetic performances anchoring potential kitsch.