Friday, September 2, 2016

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander (r) star in The Light Between Oceans

Finders, Keepers

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: DreamWorks Pictures' "The Light Between Oceans" is a heart-breaking drama about fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths to which one couple will go to see their dreams realized. Starring Academy Award & Golden Globe nominee Michael Fassbender, Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, Academy Award & Golden Globe winner Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson, the film is written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance based on the acclaimed novel by M.L. Stedman. The producers are Academy Award nominee David Heyman, and Jeffrey Clifford with Tom Karnowski, Rosie Alison, Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King serving as executive producers. In the years following World War I, Tom Sherbourne (Fassbender) a young veteran still numb from his years in combat, takes a job as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a remote island off the coast of Western Australia. As the island's sole inhabitant, he finds comfort in the monotony of the chores and the solitude of his surroundings. When he meets the daughter of the school's headmaster, Isabel Graysmark (Vikander), in the local town of Partageuse on the mainland, Tom is immediately captivated by her beauty, wit and passion, and they are soon married and living on the island. As their love flourishes, he begins to feel again, their happiness marred only by their inability to start a family, so when a rowboat with a dead man and infant girl mysteriously washes ashore, Isabel believes their prayers may have finally been answered. As a man of principle, Tom is torn between reporting the lost child and pleasing the woman he loves, and against his better judgment he agrees to let Isabel raise the child as their own, making a choice with devastating consequences.

Vikander's Isabel argues, "We're not doing anything wrong," and for the first two-thirds of The Light Between Oceans, she's right. Cianfrance's saga is beautiful to watch, and surprisingly engrossing (given its relatively narrow scope.) Then the final act begins, and we're thrust into a spiral of sadness that gives Angela's Ashes a run for its money. I was able to handle two miscarriages; but what ensues, is enough to make a grown man cry/become a lighthouse keeper. Oops, too late. Dolefulness notwithstanding, this is a terrific film that runs a bit long (132 minutes) but still manages to entertain.

Grade: B