Based on M.L. Stedman’s debut novel, which is officially described as follows:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
Release date: September 2, 2016
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Derek Cianfrance
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material and some sexual content)
Screenwriter: Derek Cianfrance
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, Alicia Vikander, Caren Pistorius
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On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film an approval rating of 59%, based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10.
On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 60 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
Fassbender and Vikander give powerful performances and their on-screen chemistry holds the film together when the story wavers.Johanna Schneller
Globe and Mail
What the protagonists do is simply wrong, and their attempts to fix it are first tepid, then unpleasant.Leah Pickett
At the climax the wife makes a decision antithetical to her character, and a morally complex film derails into hackneyed Nicholas Sparks territory.Liz Braun
The Light Between Oceans is completely engaging and it’s heartbreaking, though not so heartbreaking, Mr. Cianfrance seems to suggest, as the simple passage of time.Dana Stevens
Was there ever an actor more self-evidently born to play a melancholy lighthouse keeper than Michael Fassbender?
Production Companies: DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media, Heyday Films
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Entertainment One
September 1, 2016 (Venice)
September 2, 2016 (United States)
November 4, 2016 (United Kingdom)
Running time 132 minutes
Budget $20 million
The best-selling novel that swept readers away with its transporting story of fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths one couple will go to see their hard-fought dreams realized, comes to the screen as a lush, classically star-crossed romance starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance.
As mesmerizingly beautiful as it is heartbreaking, M.L. Stedman’s novel “The Light Between Oceans” was a literary sensation upon its publication in 2012. Set on the remote edge of Western Australia in the years following the devastation of the Great War, the book lured readers into a seductively old-fashioned tale of love and impossible choices beneath which lay roiling, contemporary questions of right and wrong, the effects of war and peace, the wonders of connection and the dangers of blind scruples.
This is where Tom Sherbourne, a shell-shocked veteran, devotes himself to his new job as lighthouse keeper on the otherwise uninhabited Janus Rock, surrounded by nothing but the vast sea, seeking solace in the solitude. He intends to remain alone, but unexpectedly meets Isabel Graysmark, a vivacious young woman from the town of Partageuse across the harbor, herself grieving two brothers lost in the war.
Despite the obstacles, their love flourishes in the stark isolation and they are soon married. Passionate for each other and hoping to be part of creating a new life together, they try to start a family, but fate intercedes. Then, one night, a mysterious rowboat holding a dead man and an infant girl washes ashore, setting off a chain of decisions-some impetuous, others wrenching- that unravel with shattering consequences.
Cianfrance immediately felt the cinematic potential of a story that invokes the power of landscape, the aftermath of war, the all-consuming state of passion and, most of all, the ageless tradition of romances that push a couple into illuminating moral borderlands. He adapted Stedman’s book faithfully, yet with a filmmaker’s eye for the details that propel human relationships into both bliss and catastrophe.
“‘The Light Between Oceans’ is a film about love, truth and the secrets people keep in relationships, and what happens when those secrets are exposed to the light of day,” says Cianfrance. “It is a moral drama, but at the core, it is a timeless love story.”
DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment present, in association with Participant Media, “The Light Between Oceans,” starring two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender, Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson. The film is written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance based on the novel by M.L. Stedman and produced by Oscar nominee David Heyman, p.g.a. and Jeffrey Clifford, p.g.a. The executive producers are Tom Karnowski, Rosie Alison, Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King.
CAST & CREW
Michael Fassbender as Tom Sherbourne
Alicia Vikander as Isabel Sherbourne
Rachel Weisz as Hannah Roennfeldt
Bryan Brown as Septimus Potts
Jack Thompson as Ralph Addicott
Caren Pistorius as Adult Lucy/Grace
Florence Clery as Lucy/Grace
Anthony Hayes as Vernon Knuckey
Emily Barclay as Gwen Potts
Leon Ford as Frank Roennfeldt
Thomas Unger as Bluey
Benedict Hardie as Harry Garstone
Georgie Jean Gascoigne as 1-year-old Baby Lucy/Grace
Elliot and Evangeline Newbery as Baby Lucy/Grace
Directed by Derek Cianfrance
Produced by David Heyman, Jeffrey Clifford
Screenplay by Derek Cianfrance
Based on The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography Adam Arkapaw
Edited by Jim Helton, Ron Patane