The period romance tearjerker The Light Between Oceans has a starring pair, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, as gorgeous as the cinematography

Passionate performances bring to life ML Stedman’s mega-bestseller

The Light Between Oceans (M18: sexual scene)

Starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz Directed by Derek Cianfrance

In the years following World War I, a traumatised veteran takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on a remote Western Australia island and starts to feel again in his new life with a wife, a vivacious local girl. The couple’s happiness is marred by their inability to have children. When a rowboat with a dead man and baby girl mysteriously washes ashore, they make the fateful decision to keep the infant and raise her as their own rather than report to the authorities.

The consequences are devastating.

The Light Between Oceans, co-starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, is a tale of bereavement and betrayal adapted and directed by Derek Cianfrance from Australian author ML Stedman’s 2012 bestseller.

Cianfrance has fashioned a sweeping historical romance weepie for his first studio release after his acclaimed relationship dramas, Blue Valentine (2010) and The Place Beyond the Pines (2013). He has stormy vistas as metaphors for the tempest of emotions. It’s shallow waters: Cianfrance tries too hard to tug heartstrings.

Nevertheless this is a handsome period production of many pleasures from the swirling score to the widescreen cinematography.

The performances are sterling. Rachel Weisz in a supporting role is a grieving widow, the missing piece in the puzzle. Fassbender as the husband, a decent man, etches his tight face with guilt and moral anguish; Vikander, a best supporting actress at the Oscars last year for The Danish Girl, is youthful willfulness as the wife.

Fassbender and Vikander are so beautiful together it’s ridiculous.

Fittingly, they fell in love while making the film and are now an item. 3.5/5

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