Saturday, September 3, 2016

Light Between the Oceans

Plot:  Tough former soldier Tom (Michael Fassbender) takes up duty at a lonely lighthouse in Australia, but local girl Isabel (Alicia Vikander) thinks he's dreamy. Soon they marry and move to the lighthouse, where significantly Isabel has two miscarriages.  Soon a boat washes ashore with a living infant girl and dead father. Isabel takes the baby as her own, and that works for a while. A few years later mourning widow Hannah (Rachel Weisz) meets Isabel & Tom, and says my daughter who was lost at sea is about the age as your daughter. In time the police come and after some dramatic flourishes the movie ends. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: It starts like a drama, and ends a crime movie. Great acting all around from Fassbender, Vikander and Weisz. The images are beautiful and the music is good too. It has all the pieces. This is a drama in a lighthouse, so there is lots of talking -- good thing the dialog is clever and fun to listen to.

I was uncomfortable when they decided to keep the infant, which I viewed as kidnapping or child abduction. As the baby grows, I can't help thinking about the parents and the terrible ending when it comes. Later as their deeds become known, I don't sympathize with them. I only think about poor Hannah. My heart's tension decided early on Hannah, so the tearful drama with Isabel only seemed like her just desserts. I suspect director Clanfrance wanted us to feel torn, but I didn't and so the movie is just average.

This was not a tear-jerker, at least for me. I kept waiting for Isabel to get the justice she deserved. 

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz

Directed by:  
Derek Clanfrance

Written by:  Derek Clanfrance based on the novel by ML Stedman; It is not a true story. 

The Music:
Pretty orchestral music by Alexandre Desplat

The Visuals:
Nice nature photography and interior shots. 

2.5 stars: Well crafted, but not fun or morally challenging. 


More: The book has excellent reviews.

Even More: Filmed in New Zealand