Movie Review: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain* Intense, Emotional, Reveals A Shocking, Yet Heartwarming Story
English artist Louis Wain rises to prominence at the end of the 19th century for his surreal cat paintings that seemed to reflect his declining sanity.After his father’s death, Louis Wain tries to look after his five sisters and his mother as a freelance artist.He is fortunate that Sir William Ingram, editor of the Illustrated London News, offers him a job as an illustrator. His life takes another positive turn when Emily Richardson, the new governess of his sisters, steps into it. She becomes the love of his life, and soon they take in a stray kitten they call Peter. It is unusual in the Victorian era to keep a cat as a pet, and the cat pictures that Louis paints from then on are just as unusual.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like The Electrical Life of Louis Wain because I learned facts about electricity that I didn’t know before. I learned to see electricity in a different way. What I like about this movie is that it is based on the life of the painter Louis Wain and it is filled with drama, comedy, romance and tragic events.” Mikella G. adds, “I really like The Electrical life of Louis Wain because it is intense and emotional, but still very attention grabbing. It really locks you in and reveals a shocking, but heartwarming story.” See their full reviews below.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 13
I like The Electrical Life of Louis Wain because I learned facts about electricity that I didn’t know before. I learned to see electricity in a different way. What I like about this movie is that it is based on the life of the painter Louis Wain and it is filled with drama, comedy, romance and tragic events.
This extraordinary film is about the eccentric, British painter named Louis Wain portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film beings in 1880s London when Mr. Wain is a young boy, and his family depends on him economically. He loves painting animal portraits, rather than people and when his younger sisters need a teacher (Claire Foy) he accepts a better job in order to pay for the governess who he falls in love with and marries. Wain has a peculiar way of feeling and seeing electricity; seeing it as a feeling between people and animals, especially cats, which takes him to painting cats and making a huge profit from those paintings.
The scenes in this film are exquisite, showing Victorian style furniture, houses and beautiful landscapes of 1880s London. The costumes are also from the Victorian era. We see British traditions like drinking tea at midday, visiting the opera house to watch a film and gossiping between nosey neighbors. The instrumental music is very appealing as well. The movie is narrated by Olivia Coleman. I believe this film will be nominated for Best Picture of 2021 and I predict Benedict Cumberbatch will be nominated for Best Actor, because his performance as Louis Wain from each stage of his life is magnificent.Mr. Wain’s world was full of eccentric and colorful imagination. His infatuation with cats made him one of the most acclaimed painters of his era. His last work was about cats wearing Victorian outfits and acting as humans. What if Mr. Wain was smart enough to see beyond what normal people can see?
The moral of this film is to understand that mental health, besides being an illness, can also be a gift, if treated. This film does contain some mature content and strong language.
I give The Electrical Life of Louis Wain 5 out of 5 stars and recommended to ages 12 to 18. plus adults. The movie will be released in theaters and on Amazon Prime November 5, 2021. And remember, if you or your loved ones suffer from mental health, don’t hesitate to look for help. Mental health requires a great deal of attention and it needs to be faced and dealt with.
The Electrical life of Louis Wain
By Mikella G, KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 15
I really like The Electrical life of Louis Wain because it is intense and emotional, but still very attention grabbing. It really locks you in and reveals a shocking, but heartwarming story.
This storyline is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It follows Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he navigates his way through life. Louis is an aspiring artist, most known for his infamous cat paintings, and always looks at things from a different perspective. He goes through quite a bit of trauma, but learns from it and never gives up his loves and passions in life.
Something that I really enjoy about this film is the acting. Each of the actors brings a raw, genuine feeling to their character and each character has its own storyline. I was really drawn to Marie’s (Hayley Squires) character, which is one of Louis’ younger sisters. She is a very complex character with so many emotions. In addition, Claire Foy, who plays Emily, really intrigued me. Emily is Louis’s wife and is a uniquely emotional character. All her lines have a very specific meaning, and Claire really brings them forward. Another thing I enjoyed is the time period; the film takes place in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a time period I particularly enjoy. The wardrobe from that time period is something I love, particularly the costumes of all the women wearing these extremely detailed dresses. Each of Louis’ sisters has a personal that matches the times. Even Marie (Anya Mackenna), who is so young, wears outfits suited to the era. Plus, the house interiors show us so much about what life was like back then, including what kind of technology they used.
The message of this film is that, no matter how many obstacles life throws at you, if you strive for better days then they will come. This film does include some profanity.
I give The Electrical Life of Louis Wain 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain releases in theaters and on Amazon Prime November 5, 2021.
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