The Light Between Oceans (2016)


Drama | Romance


Derek Cianfrance


UK | New Zealand | USA


Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson, Caren Pistorius, Anthony Hayes, Emily Barclay, Leon Ford, Thomas Unger, Benedict Hardie, Jane Menelaus, Garry McDonald


Unable to have their only child, a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander) decide to raise a baby they rescued from a drifting rowing boat as if it was theirs.


I only watched "The Place Beyond the Pines" from director Derek Cianfrance and I was very disappointed with it, probably because I was expecting a different film. That said, I still was very excited about "The Light Between Oceans". The story sounded interesting, the trailer looked great and the cast, well, it was amazing.

Unfortunately, just like Cianfrance's other movie, I was disappointed by this mediocre, dull and sugary Nicolas Sparks's style film.

Quite superficial, simple and unoriginal, yet with quite some wasted potential, the story features guilt and loss and ends up being simply dreadful. Those themes just aren't developed as deserved and are paired with a tormented romance that is far from interesting. In a very confused way, the film also tries to show how hard it can be to determine what's the right thing to do in a given situation, but it doesn't have much of an impact.

The characters aren't that good either. I have not read the novel so I don't know who is to be blamed, but these characters are terrible. Underdeveloped and stupid as well, I found it impossible to be emotionally invested in any of them. Despite the performances, especially Michael Fassbender's surprisingly excellent performance as the lighthouse keeper. I said surprisingly because he was given a character that has basically nothing to do other than staring at the ocean.

The performances aren't the only good thing about Cianfrance's film. It is indeed visually stunning, not only because of New Zealand's scenery but because of the beautiful photography as well. And the score by Alexandre Desplat almost makes the film emotional.


  1. Great review! :)
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  2. I've got this in my Netflix queue but it's pretty far down. I'm in no rush to see it, though it does some interesting to me too. Nice review!

  3. Oh boy....I think I will wait a while before seeing this film. Love your review especially the one about Fassbender staring at the ocean a lot

  4. surprisingly excellent performance / underdeveloped and stupid ? You are clueless aren't you? Perhaps traumatized WW I veterans do indeed stare into the ocean a lot. I suggest you turn to Michael Bay type of movies..