- Title: The Light Between Oceans
- IMDb: link
In the hands of a less talented cast The Light Between Oceans would be a tedious disaster. Soap opera dressed in drag as high drama, the manipulative tale is made watchable by its choice of leads Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander in what feels very much like a story predestined for Lifetime television. Still, a talented cast can only do so much with the sordid, and extremely predictable, source material.
Adapted from the novel of the same name, Fassbender stars as Tom Sherbourne, a WWI vet who takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on an isolated island. Falling for the daughter of one of the men who hired him for the position, Tom and Isabel’s (Alicia Vikander) life on the island is full of tragedy, but the arrival of a shipwrecked boat promises a new start for the couple. To do so they will make a choice which will not only affect themselves but a woman they have never met (Rachel Weisz) for years to come.
At more than two-hours no amount of pretty (but never quite amazing) scenery or closeups of Vikander and Fassbender can prevent the lull which director Derek Cianfrance can not seem to avoid.
The Light Between Oceans is a mostly forgettable affair. The little which stuck with me was the obvious twists of the plodding plot which ends exact as one would expect. I’m not sure why Fassbender and Vikander are slumming here in such a throwaway film but the good thing is the movie is neither memorable or awful enough to hold it against them. It’s simply the manipulative and boring trappings of what appear (at least to one who hasn’t read the book) as a trashy romance novel, which may be even harder for me to forgive (but likely easier to forget).