Friday, September 23, 2016

Movie Review - The Light Between Oceans (PG-13) - review by Stephen Signor



Run Time: 1:32

Got Kleenex? Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by M.L. Stedman, The Light between Oceans is a compelling, heartwarming drama that takes place post WWI. The year is 1918, the setting, Western Australia.  Due to unseen circumstances Thomas Sherbourne inherits the duty of lighthouse keeper but not before falling for Isabel Graysmark. Due to local law women are not to visit the lighthouse unless the woman is married to the keeper. I think you know where this is going. Sherbourne is brilliantly played by Michael Fassbender(X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014). Alicia Vikander, (Jason Bourne 2016) and Academy Award winner for 2015’s The Danish Girl is captivating as Graysmark. 

After their marriage they both relish in their existence, holding every moment together as if it were their last. And then one day, with perfect timing, Thomas spots a rowboat bobbing in the water that has apparently drifted to the coastline. To their amazement and joy it holds the precious cargo of a baby. The joy however is short lived as Thomas believes the right thing to do is report the incident while the heroine has longed for a child of her own. Newcomer Florence Clery portrays Lucy-Grace at a young age. Her performance adds to the tear factor as well as the drama.

The character of Hannah Roennfeldt played by Academy award winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener -2005) is a key element to the film. Albeit a shorter leading role than the rest, hers is just as important. Add up the accomplishment of the three leading roles (Weisz, Alicia Vikander and Fassbender) you have a grand total of 137 awards and 210 nominations.

Writer/director Derek Cianfrance (The Place beyond the Pines -2012) and Executive Producer Rosie Alison (Paddington-2014) accomplishes the complex task of bonding the characters together without losing the plot or the viewers interest. Adam Arkapaw’s (Macbeth-2015) cinematography is breathtaking. Granted it is filmed in Stanley, a quiet seaside town in north-west Tasmania but it is the timing of the shots that add to the already spectacular backdrop giving those particular moments extra meaning. 

 The Light between Oceans" will be the last DreamWorks film to be released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Touchstone Pictures under the original agreement. This film is a testament of that success.