Film review: The Light Between Oceans (3 out of 5)

Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender in The Light Between Oceans SUS-160511-093616001

Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender in The Light Between Oceans SUS-160511-093616001

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There are many reasons for going to see a movie - you enjoy the franchise, you liked the book it was based on, the trailer seemed good etc.

And then there are those films where it’s the actors that draw people through the box office.

This was definitely the latter for me, as Michael Fassbender very rarely disappoints, Alicia Vikander has impressed in her relatively short career and Rachel Weisz is always worth a watch.

And The Light Between Oceans is certainly a character driven tale, in which the actors have to be in top form.

Fassbender plays a mentally battered survivor from the Great War, Tom Sherbourne, who seeks some inner peace by taking up the job as a lighthouse keeper on a remote island off the coast of Western Australia.

On the mainland he meets and marries Isabel Graysmark (Vikander). However, their efforts in starting a family are unsuccessful.

One day, though, they discover a baby in a rowing boat and decide to claim the child as their own.

The consequences of this action have deep emotional and legal implications that are set to haunt them for a very long time.

As you would expect, the main cast make this quite a tear-jerker in places.

Director Derek Cianfrance, who also wrote the screenplay, adapting the original novel, presents a tale of love and devotion.

Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw makes full use of the incredible setting for some breath-taking shots.

The film has pretty much split opinion, though.

While the raw intensity of the emotions is impressive and the movie is all nicely pulled together, it is a very simple story that doesn’t really linger in the memory.

However, Alexandre Desplat’s music is a joy on its own and there’s also a brief chance to see Aussie actor Bryan Brown in action which is never a bad thing.

Film details: The Light Between Oceans (12A) 133mins

Director: Derek Cianfrance

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol