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Movie Review –
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
Genre: Drama, Historical, War, Romance, Cultural (Australia)
Duration: 132 Minutes
Directed By: Derek Cianfrance
Written By: Derek Cianfrance, M.L. Stedman
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weisz
A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat.
I’m just going to first preface this review to say that I had a terrible viewing experience due to the patron next to me who not only decided to sleep (and snore) for the first 1/4 of the film (imagine loud manly snores every 4-5 seconds re breathing) but then proceeded to elicit reactionary comments like “OH!” and “NO!” and “Uh-huh” … among others in every fucking scene.
What does this mean? It means I was constantly removed from a film that requires attention and immersion into the character dramas and picturesque landscapes that sell the story.
Speaking to the film though, The Light Between Oceans was kind of dramatic for my tastes compounded by terrible decision making in Fassbender’s character, Tom. I get that he meant well (and perhaps the “right” decision) but I think how he went by it was misguided for my tastes.
The tone of the film was spot on though; featuring a coastal town grounded by beautiful landscapes and set against the backdrop of the volatile sea. This film is literally a treasure trove for pathetic fallacies.
Also stray thoughts: Vikander’s character seemed to have zero wardrobe changes for 1/3 of the film…
The film is spearheaded by Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, with the latter giving a more compelling performance in my eyes. I don’t know if it’s the story that limited Fassbender’s acting chops but his role is rather minimalist. Now it could totally be that his character is numb to basically everything post-war but I guess I just expected more from a role that doesn’t actually have much to give. Meaning: it’s a quiet role and Fassbender does do it somewhat justice.
Good but not great.