The Current War - Five Reasons You'll Love It
The journey of most films from script to production and into theatres and DVD players is rarely straightforward. Scripts need re-writing, producers want changes, directors clash with cast and crew, the weather goes wrong, there are so many pitfalls to overcome to get the job done.
That said, new historical thriller The Current War has enjoyed a more tortuous journey than most.
At the outset, it had all the hallmarks of a hit. The cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston and Tom Holland, with Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, director of The Town That Dreaded Sundown and Me and Earl and The Dying Girl behind the camera.
The film chronicles the lives of two great inventors at the tail end of the 19th century, a territory which has been fertile for Oscars and BAFTAs in years gone by.
It stars Cumberbatch as inventor Thomas Edison with Shannon portraying George Westinghouse. The movie is the story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Edison and Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.
Hotly-tipped during its production for an awards run, the film was due for release at the start of 2018, but was then pulled from release following the sexual abuse allegations that arose against Harvey Weinstein, whose company produced the film.
Almost two years, the film has been prised from the Weinstein Company's confines and is now finally getting a release.
The Current War is in cinemas now and will be released on DVD later this year, but, before that, we caught an early screening and have rounded up five reasons why you'll love it...
Benedict Cumberbatch is in his element...
Thomas Edison was an eccentric genius who had little time for niceties or hobnobbing. If this sounds like another of Cumberbatch's roles, then you'd be right. He's totally in his element here as the spiky, obsessive inventor.
Michael Shannon matches him...
Shannon's Westinghouse is a cordial and jovial contrast to Cumberbatch's Edison. Unlike Cumberbatch, this is more unusual territory for Shannon, who we're used to seeing as a scheming villain. He pulls it off though, very, very well.
This is a human drama...
This could easily be a technical and dry film, buried under long montages of men working away in labs, but Rejon keeps the two men at the centre of everything. We see them at their flamboyant best and their ego-driven worst. It's cleverly done.
There's a fine supporting cast backing them up...
Nicholas Hoult cuts a dashing figure as budding inventor Nikola Tesla, Matthew Macfayden is a fine curmudgeon as J.P Morgan, while Katherine Waterston and Tuppence Middleton both deliver fine performances as Marguerite Erskine and Mary Stilwell Edison respectively.
The epic scale isn't matched with an epic running time...
Clocking in at 108 minutes, this is a lean, meaty drama, but one that doesn't outstay its welcome.
The Current War is in cinemas now and will be released on DVD later this year.