Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Tender biopic looks at grief, mental illness; some language.

Movie PG-13 2021 111 minutes
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This biopic of the late English artist, who became famous for his drawings of large-eyed cats, is a joy. The Electrical Life of Louis Wain manages to strike the perfect balance between sadness and an incredibly subtle, dark comedic edge. There's an overstated, surrealist quality to the film, akin to Wain's very own work, and yet at the same time it's as human a story as you'll see all year. It may be whimsical, but it's also a profoundly moving affair, with a handful of scenes that are difficult to sit through.

Cumberbatch is sensational in the leading role, providing a nuanced portrayal of the troubled but gifted Wain. There are many impressive cameos to boot too. These include Taika Waititi and Toby Jones, while Olivia Colman provides the narration. However, the multitude of these roles can prove a little overwhelming, almost becoming a distraction to Wain's own story. But once Wain comes back into focus, the movie again finds its feet and ultimately proves to be a more than rewarding endeavor.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate