Tony's Take

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS review

light_between_oceans_xxlgLove Demands Everything

“The Light between Oceans” takes-place in a post-World War I Australia, and a job has opened for a lighthouse keeper just off of the coast.  Tom Sherbourne, a war veteran, is stuck in life and still-struggling from the war’s effects as he accepts the position; living a day’s boat journey from the nearest civilized area.  Upon arriving at the lighthouse, he meets a beautiful young woman named Isabel.  Tom performs his duty, while often writing Isabel and hoping to see her again.  After a brief period, the two marry and set-off on their new life at the lighthouse together.  However, tragic events and troubling times cause the couple endless grief, with each other’s emotion constantly lowering with each passing day.  Then one day, a boat washes-ashore with a dead man and a young malnourished baby.  Hoping to finally have some good in their lives, they keep the child and don’t report it; going against every best instinct and judgement.  The rest of the film follows Tom and Isabel’s life, as it quickly agonizingly-unravels.

Michael Fassbender stars as Tom Sherbourne, the by-the-book lighthouse keeper.  Alicia Vikander stars as Isabel Sherbourne, Tom’s grief-stricken wife.  Rachel Weisz plays Hannah Roennfeldt, a mourning widow from the nearest town.  Bryan Brown and Emily Barclay play Septimus and Gwen Potts.  Jack Thompson plays Ralph Addicott.  Elliot and Evangeline Newbery, Georgia Jean Gascoigne, Florence Clery, and Caren Pistorius play Lucy/Grace baby, young child, and adult versions.  Anthony Hayes plays police inspector Vernon Knuckley.  Leon Ford plays Hannah’s dead husband, Frank Roennfeldt.  Thomas Unger and Benedict Hardie play Bluey and Harry Garstone.

“The Light between Oceans” is one of the most raw and heartbreaking tales of human emotion I’ve ever seen; coupled with masterclass performances and beautiful cinematography, it is definitely a film not to miss!  One of, if not, the greatest aspect of the film are its performances.  Fassbender and Vikander both give their all, selling the heartbreak and agony from scene-to-scene; never giving the audience a chance to find happiness.  What’s so beautiful about the performance is that it is so genuine and authentic; showing how easy it must have been for the two to fall in-love during the filming process.  “The Light between Oceans” never shies-away from the dark and morose; which is why this film is easily one of the toughest watches of 2016.  Make sure you bring a few tissues with you; it packs that much of an emotional punch.  One of the major themes showcases how we are willing to do almost anything for love, even if it represents going-against our morals and doing what we know is wrong.  Just to give warning, “The Light between Oceans” has some very “real” and personal moments, which may hit too-close-to-home for some viewers (but it would be a sin to spoil those here).  The film isn’t just dark and gloomy; the cinematography and landscapes are beautiful and the emotion truly envelops-you into the hardships out characters are enduring.  The film is a bit long however and contains a few moments of lull, but letting the story play-out is needed and it adds to a more heartbreaking and tear-jerking finale.  The film plays-out like a “Lifetime” movie, but it’s excellent performances and spellbinding emotion certainly helps separate it from the latter.  “The Light between Oceans” has a run time of 132 minutes and does drag a few times.  It will be hard to find a more emotionally-complex and thought-provoking film in 2016, and it will certainly be nearly impossible to find one with such elegant performances as well!

“The Light between Oceans” follows a young couple working as lighthouse keepers, as they live on an island and struggle through life with continuous trials and hardships.  The film features phenomenal performances, a dark and emotional story, and beautiful cinematography.  If you are going to the movies this weekend, go see “The Light between Oceans”!! 

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THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is rated PG-13 for thematic material and some sexual content, in theaters SEPTEMBER 2ND!

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