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'The Electrical Life of Louis Wain': a late 1800's Claire Foy, Cats & Benedict Cumberbatch




An eccentric array of extravagance, electrical cats and charging female roles - 'The Electrical Life of Louis Wain' features Benedict Cumberbatch (Louis Wain, a notoriously eclectic British artist), Claire Foy (Emily Richardson-Wain), Aimee Lou Wood (Claire Wain), Oliva Coleman (the Narrator) - to name a few. Alongside this late 19th century period biopic Will Sharpe screenplay, we see Taiki Waititi, Sophia Di Martino, Richard Ayode; interlacing through this artistic rendition of the characteristic concoction of cat caricatures, paintings and inventions - famously produced by Louis Wain.


Emily Richardson-Wain, played by Emmy® Winner and BAFTA Nominee Claire Foy creates a redefining voice for the women of the late 1800's era, forthrightly putting her career before people's overshadowing opinions of how a women should represent themselves during this time. Foy's portrayal of Richardson-Wain, diversifies the traditionally reserved and more meek mannered nature of the era, by shaking up the stereotype and proclaiming an outwardly outspoken and strong individual mindset.


Emily is definitely the hard-hitting main character that we rightfully want to see in more outgoing and dominant female characters, through period pieces in film. The power dynamic between the two of Emily and Louis, doesn't shy away from showing her business minded approach to her own life, as well as the loved ones around her - yet, not letting Louis or anyone intrude on her career progression where she sees fit. Emily is grounded in her stance of where she stands and where she wants to be, if people are to be in her life - it's by her invitation, not their forthrightness.




Louis Wain, played by Academy Award® Nominee and BAFTA-winning Benedict Cumberbatch.


Cumberbatch delivers complex character development throughout the entirety of this film. Unravelling the complicated, cat-centric and comforting femininity of Louis Wain himself. This developing main character role provides the audience with a non conforming lost gentleman to society's norms. Yet, Louis in is adventurous, inventive and artistic ways create an admirable bond with the viewer: a kind of woeful kinship, that of a child on Christmas Eve. An everlasting perplexed aura of energetic ideas, newfound inventions and psychoanalytical portraits of painted cats.


Louis Wain is encapsulated by is self love of his artistry and those around him that he holds dear, both in the people and cats in his life. His true boyishness comes through in waves, not stumbling at the thought of failure, yet rising at the thought of ideas and prospects. A truly open book to the creative world.


Wain represents himself through his ideology, views and strength in the solid foundation with the people around him. Wavering isn't in his nature, nor is it in those he holds near - a collective, of free souls.






Images courtesy of StudioCanal