A moving romantic drama that gets taught and heartbreaking, The Light Between Oceans has been released on home video. Nicely directed by Derek Cianfrance, who’s no stranger to the genre and delivered the passionate motion picture Blue Valentine. In this film his characters are caught up in a quandary that tests their motives and truth. I am a fan of lush filmed movies that have breathtaking scenery and this one is no exception.
A young man, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), has just been discharged from the Army following WWI and has decided to interview for a lonely job as a lighthouse keeper on an uninhabited island off the coast of Australia. He gets the job and before he leaves on a boat that will take him to his job becomes infatuated with the local schoolmaster’s daughter Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander).
After a few months of loneliness Tom receives a letter from Isabel and when he goes to the mainland he asks for her hand in marriage. Well, that’s not the end of the story although most romantics would be delighted with that, but it wouldn’t be a drama unless you have tragedy, right? The movie takes a few surprise turns that include a heartbreaking attempt at starting a family and saving a child adrift at sea, before continuing nearly two hours.
Director and Screenwriter Derek Cianfrance keeps his film tight and compelling introducing his characters that will participate in this beautifully written love story. It treats viewers to a movie of love, new life, secrets, and emotional heartbreak. In Blue Valentine that he directed by Cianfrance, Ryan Gosling sings the Mills Brother’s hit song “You Always Hurt the One You Love” that would also have been apropos for this film.
Putting her fine talent to work Alicia Vikander plays Isabel the feisty persuasive girl who finds her love by chance. She’s been forlorn having already turned a lovely woman for some time with hope and aspirations on finding the right man to share her future. When she meets Tom, she’s enamored by his stature, humbleness and his hurting coming from a hard fought world war. Vikander’s performance is brilliant as she scoops you up and lays her character’s desperate heart on the table for all to see.
Consummate actor Michael Fassbender brings Tom Sherbourne to the screen with ease. He shows Tom as a blemished soul who has come home after facing the enemy in battles that have left him broken. He’s looking for a place where he can be alone and as the lighthouse attendant on a deserted island, it’s a perfect private ground to take residence. But, like in all great romances, a woman comes into his life and sets the daemons free. His chemistry with Vikander is perfect and makes the film work.
“Bringing ‘the light’ to life” director and screen writer Derek Cianfrance, along with the main actors and producers, talk about the making of the movie.
“Audio Commentary” you can turn this feature on and listen to Film Studies Professor Phil Solomon of University of Colorado and director Cianfrance talk about the film as you watch the movie.
“Lighthouse Keeper” Location manager Jared Connon talks about how and why he chose the specific lighthouse for the film while producer Jeffery Clifford adds his comments.
The Light Between Oceans has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic material and some sexual content. Please be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that are inappropriate for youngsters.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A sweet romance with a heartrending conclusion
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson, Thomas Unger, Garry McDonald and Florence Clery
Director and screenwriter: Derek Cianfrance
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material and some sexual content
Genre: Romance, Drama
Running Time: 2 hrs. 13 min.
Video Release Date: January 23, 2017
Original Theatrical Release Date: Septmeber 2, 2016
Language: English (changeable to French or Spanish)
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Video: 1080p Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Number of Discs: 1 Disc + Digital HD Code
Distributed by: Buena Vista Home Entertainment