AWFJ Movie of the Week, August 29 – September 2: The Light Between Oceans

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light_between_oceans_posterAs we wave goodbye to a truly wretched slate of summer blockbusters, the season of serious films kicks off with a new cargo of epic stories, sweeping vistas and major actors. One film has every single one of these things – Derek Cianfrance’s adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s debut novel The Light Between Oceans. The film will have its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, before its release on September 2 in the US. Read On…

The story involves a couple, Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel, who have moved to a remote lighthouse on Janus Rock, off the Australian coast. Tom is recovering from the experience of battle in WWI, but Isabel has her own struggles, with a series of miscarriages. When a baby washes ashore, along with the body of man, the couple believes that their prayers have been answered. But the source of their newfound joy is the fundament of someone else’s tragedy. The story, in good Thomas Hardy-esque fashion, proceeds along with a series of terrible choices, towards an inevitable, inescapable conclusion.

If the pairing of Fassbender and Vikander (two of the most physically beautiful actors working today) fails to entice, perhaps you should check your pulse, as you might be dead. The presence of Rachel Weisz adds another level of thespian skill, and director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) has demonstrated that he has a particular way with both romance and tragedy.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:


Pam Grady: Moving melodrama or manipulative tearjerker? We’ll soon find out with the release of The Light Between Oceans and its tale of a couple faced with a life-changing decision involving a child. Given the talent involved–Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance and stars Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, and Rachel Weisz–it deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Thelma Adams: The Light Between Oceans – because who doesn’t want to see a romance between Fassbender and Vikander based on a novel written by a woman? (M. L. Stedman)

Film Details:

Title: The Light Between Oceans
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Running Time: 132 minutes
Language: English
Principal Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown
Screenwriter: Derek Cianfrance
Production Companies: Heyday Films, LBO Productions, DreamWorks SKG, Participant Media, Reliance Media
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios, Motion Pictures Entertainment One

Official Site Link

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Thelma Adams, Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Candice Frederick, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf

Other Movies Opening the Week of August 29 to September 5, 2016

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, Associate Editor. Written by Dorothy Woodend

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Dorothy Woodend

Dorothy Woodend has been the film critic for The Tyee since 2004. Her work has been published in magazines, newspapers and books across Canada and the US, as well as a number of international publications. Dorothy is also the Senior Festival Advisor for DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.