Reviewed byMarymoviegoerVote: 9/10/10
For those who were fans of the book, it was a great adaptation. It wasslow, but that was certainly true to the book.
The acting was excellent, and I loved the cast. Fassbender and Weiszare always winners, of course - Vikander I have enjoyed in the threemovies I've seen her in. She was great when she needed to be great inthis movie - there were some very dramatic and poignant scenes, and shepulled them off.
I loved the cinematography especially the scenes filmed on the island the constant wind! That was something which was conveyed in the book,but it's hard to keep "constant ferocious screaming wind" in your headwhile reading, because it would be awful if it were mentioned everyparagraph, yet it's easy to forget that crucial detail while reading the movie definitely conveyed that. Very atmospheric.
Yes, it was on the slow side - so don't watch it while drowsy, and youshould be fine!
Reviewed byArgemalucoVote: 8/10/10
The first film I watched from director Derek Cianfrance was BlueValentine, which impressed me very much because it was able totransform a trite domestic drama into a devastating exploration of thefactors contributing to the breaking off of a love between a very humanand realistic couple. His following film, The Place Beyond the Pines,was also intense in its handling of the characters, but it didn't leaveme completely satisfied due to some problems in the screenplay. Andnow, his most recent film, The Light Between Oceans, also challengesexpectations by taking a typical "prestige" movie, and bringing it anemotional deepness which is rarely found in similar films aiming atattracting nominations and critical acclaim; you know... the kind of"period" films (such as The English Patient or Atonement) whose elegantcostumes and British accents attempt to make them seem better than theyare. The Light Between Oceans has a few cracks in its well structuredscreenplay, but the experience ended up being quite satisfactory. Thestory of The Light Between Oceans is superficially simple and not veryoriginal; however, the gradual accumulation of complications and moraldilemmas adds an intellectual and almost philosophical aspect whichcomplements the tormented romance of the lonely man who found lovelate, only to see it in danger when certain circumstances interfere inhis happiness. Michael Fassbender brings another one of his full ofsubtle details performances which almost eliminate the necessity ofdialogues; he transmits absolutely everything we need to know about hischaracter with his look and his expressions. As for Alicia Vikander, itwas very pleasant to see her in a role which takes advantage of her bigtalent, after having recently seen her absolutely wasted in JasonBourne. So, in conclusion, The Light Between Oceans could have polishedsome details in its screenplay better, but I found it a very competentromantic drama which definitely deserves a recommendation.
Reviewed bybob-the-movie-manVote: 6/10/10
In my review of "The Two Faces of January" I described it as a filmthat "will be particularly enjoyed by older viewers who remember whenstory and location were put far ahead of CGI-based special effects". Inwatching this film I was again linking in my mind to that earlierfilm... and that was before the lead character suddenly brought up thetwo faces of Janus! For this is a good old-fashioned weepy melodrama:leisurely, character based and guaranteed to give the tear ducts a goodold cleaning out.
It's 1918 and Michael Fassbender plays Tom Sherbourne, a damaged manseeking solitude and reflection after four years of hell in thetrenches. As a short-term job he takes the post of lighthouse keeper onthe isolated slab of rock called Janus - sat between two oceans(presumably as this is Western Australia, the Indian and the SouthernOceans). The isolation of the job previously sent his predecessor offhis trolley.
En route to his workplace he is immediately attracted to headmaster'sdaughter Isabel (Alicia Vikander) who practically THROWS herself at Tom(the hussy), given that they only have snatches of a day at a time tobe together during shore leave. Tom falls for her (as a hot bloodedman, and with Vikander's performance, this is entirely believable!) andthe two marry to retire to their 'fortress of solitude' together toraise a family and live happily ever after.... or not... For the pathof true motherhood runs not smoothly for poor Isabel, and a baby in adrifting boat spells both joy and despair for the couple as the storyunwinds.
(I'll stop my synopsis there, since I think the trailer - and otherreviews I've read - give too much away).
While Fassbender again demonstrates what a mesmerising actor he is, theacting kudos in this one really goes again to Vikander, who pulls outall the stops in a role that demands fragility, naivety, resentment,anger and despair across its course. While I don't think the film ingeneral will trouble the Oscars, this is a leading actress performancethat I could well see nominated. In a supporting role, with lessscreen-time, is Rachel Weisz who again needs to demonstrate her actingstripes in a demanding role. (Also a shout-out to young Florence Clerywho is wonderfully naturalistic as the 4 year old Lucy-Grace.) So thisis a film with a stellar class, but it doesn't really all gel togethersatisfyingly into a stellar - or at least particularly memorable -movie. After a slow start, director Derek Cianfrance ("The Place Beyondthe Pines") ladles on the melodrama interminably, and over a two hourrunning time the word overwrought comes to mind.
The script (also by Cianfrance, from the novel by M.L.Stedman) couldhave been tightened up, particularly in the first reel, and theaudience given a bit more time to reflect and absorb in the secondhalf.
The film is also curiously 'place-less'. I assumed this was somewhereoff Ireland until someone suddenly starting singing "Waltzing Matilda"(badly) and random people started talking in Aussie accents: moststrange.
Cinematography by Adam Arkapaw ("Macbeth") is also frustratinglyinconsistent. The landscapes of the island, steam trains, sunsets andthe multiple boatings in between is just beautiful (assisted by adelicate score by the great Alexandre Desplat which is well used) butget close up (and the camera does often get VERY close up) and a lackof 'steadicam' becomes infuriating, with faces dancing about the screenand - in one particular scene early on - wandering off on either sidewith the camera apparently unsure which one to follow! A memorablecinema experience only for Vikander's outstanding performance. Nowwhere are those tissues...
(Agree? Disagree? Please visit bob-the-movie-man.com for the graphicalversion of the review and to comment. Thanks!)
A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from a drifting rowing boat.