Acclaimed and loved director Derek Cianfrance returns for his first film in four years to direct Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander in The Light Between Oceans. Based on the popular novel, Fassbender plays Tom, a WWI veteran who looks after a lighthouse in Western Australia with his wife (Vikander). Secluded on a little island, the couple decide to start a family and eventually, Tom’s wife Isabel falls pregnant. Tragically, Isabel suffers from two consecutive miscarriages which leave the couple devastated. After the terrible loss of their two unborn children, Tom and Isabel encounter a washed up boat with a man and baby inside. Surprisingly, being out at sea for what could have been weeks or months, the baby has survived the journey, but unfortunately, the man didn’t. Seeing this as a gift from god, Tom and Isabel take in the young baby and keep it as their own. Deciding to bury the body and get rid of the boat, the couple are forced to live a lie about their new baby.
To say I was moved while watching this film would be an understatement. The Light Between Oceans has to be one of the best dramas I have seen for a very long time. Fassbender and Vikander’s performance are breath-taking and heart-breaking. Their characters Tom and Isabel go through a rollercoaster ride of emotions and these actors are the perfect fit. Their charisma, charm and understanding of their roles are perfect. I would go as far to say that Vikander and Fassbender should be in contention for Oscar nods once the season rolls around. I think what helps the two perform so well on-screen together is that they are both a couple off-screen. Their passion, love and sincerity for each other resonate on screen and deliver one of the best performances from a couple on screens for a while.
Adding onto the sheer class of acting that I saw, director Derek Cianfrance continues his brilliant run behind the camera. As big fans of Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, the American film maker utilizes his strengths from his previous films to deliver one of the most beautifully made pieces of film this year. Visually, it creates the scene for the actors to then lay down the foundations which makes this film so good. Cianfrance seems to be the master of delivering drama in the purest of ways. Everything that the characters do on-screen can completely be understood by the audience. The director helps by bringing a sense of closeness to these characters. Straight from the opening scene, he uses close-ups so we get intimate with Tom and Isabel from the get go. Cianfrance continues to make films that want to bring me to tears and break me down. He continues this trend with his new film and has delivered a beautiful yet heart-breaking picture.
To put the icing on the cake of this film, we have the superb Alexandre Desplat to score the movie. The Oscar winner delivers an incredible soundtrack that slot into the film perfectly. If it wasn’t the beautiful directing, or the acting that was going to tear me down into a million pieces, its Desplat’s score that so nearly brought me down into tears. For the first time in a while, I cannot think of one negative thing for this film. For me, it’s perfect in so many ways. Fassbender and Vikander’s acting is second to none and the directing is flawless. It’s an incredibly sad film to watch at times but I was blown away from the start right until the end. It’s been a while people, but The Light Between Oceans gets 5 stars from me.