Melodrama is not for everyone just as The Light Between Oceans is not a film that everyone will enjoy. Some find dramas that seem to beg audiences to bawl like babies multiple times. All before the closing credits, to be predatory or manipulative. These people should not see this film. Just walk away, there are plenty of other films that evoke completely different emotions. For film viewers who have seen Beaches so many times that their VHS had to be upgraded to a digital copy, The Light Between Oceans is a lovely film.
The Light Between Oceans Review
Michael Fassbender takes a break from playing swarthy types to play a moral man who must do the right thing after he and his wife come upon an abandoned baby who washed ashore in a boat. They only assume the baby was abandoned because the mother is nowhere to be found. I won’t give away too much of the film because it unravels in a predictable but timely manner that is ultimately heartbreaking. Fassbender is handsome, strong and gives a commendable performance. But it is quite an effort to keep up with Alicia Vikander.
Vikander plays his wife and the person who decides to take in the baby as their own, raising her after the couple themselves suffered from multiple miscarriages. She is luminescent in every scene and her performance is brilliant at every turn. It is impossible not to ache for her character when they discover their child’s true birth mother.
Rachel Weisz plays the grieving mother who believes her daughter was lost at sea years before. Her performance is solid but much more stoic.
Derek Cianfrance wrote and directed the film and he is the same filmmaker responsible for the equally distressing, Blue Valentine. That drama inspired two award worthy performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.
The Light Between Oceans certainly wants audiences to cry. However, because the film is filled with gorgeous scenery and sincere performances, the filmmaker’s intentions should probably be forgiven.
Just like films from the 1980s and 1990s that became must watches on rainy days, slumber parties, or after a bad breakup, The Light Between Oceans seems to be a worthy modern entry among the classic weepies.
The Light Between Oceans
Rating - 9/10
The drama has gorgeous scenery from both the beach setting and the stunning lead actors, but only works as a movie for those who crave tearjerkers.