Modern commentary on the English artist Louis Wain tends to focus on the mental illness he suffered later in life, and while that descent is dramatized in Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, this deliciously vibrant and entertaining biopic is more a love story than an attempt at psychoanalysis. We see the eccentric Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch) fall in love with his sisters’ governess, Emily Richardson (Claire Foy), prompting a Victorian-era scandal. Soon after, she is diagnosed with cancer and the couple takes in a foundling kitten, the animal comforting Emily and introducing Louis to a new passion that will transform his art: cats. Even as his reality dims, Wain’s whimsical, often anthropomorphized feline illustrations assure his legacy. Sharpe’s cast is a roster of fine talent, and the art direction and clever cinematography pay homage to Wain’s playful sensibilities. –Edward Dunn
+ NANCY P. and RICHARD K. ROBBINS FAMILY FOUNDATION
Friday, Oct 8, 12:00pm, Smith Rafael Film Center
Saturday, Oct 9, 7:30pm, CinéArts Sequoia
$14 Member | $16.50 General | $15 Senior | $8 Students & Youth (12 & Under)
Will Sharpe is best known for writing, directing, and starring in the dark comedy-drama Flowers (2016), co-starring Olivia Colman. The independent comedy thriller Black Pond (2011), which Sharpe wrote and co-directed with Tom Kingsley, was nominated for a British Independent Film Award in 2011 and for the Audience Award at SXSW in 2012.