Film No. 64 (2016) October 20th. 6.30 PM Gold Class Greater Union Event Cinema, Innaloo.
"She needs us, we're not doing anything wrong." Isabel, (Alicia Vikander) pleads with her husband Tom(Michael Fassbender)).
Derek Cianofrance nailed the heartfelt film with Blue Valentine six years ago. The Place Beyond the Pines had a powerful pull as well but it was not in the same mould as Valentine. The Light Between The Oceans reinforces his ability to power us back to witnessing real human heartbreak without cliche. He also parallels the anguish of Tom (Fassbender)and Isabel (Vikander) against the backdrop of a windswept vastness that takes our breath away.
This Australian story is stamped with British know how. It's shot in Tasmania and on a New Zealand island. It's important to mention the locations because they co-star in this exquisite production. The beautiful but desolate locations bring to bear the rawness of what it feels like to experience bad luck, regret and loss. Key in all of this is the question, does isolation and heart ache alter perceptions of reality?
Cianofrance seamlessly transports Tom, a WWI vet who's been to hell and back and is looking for real peace, to an island off Australia where he is manning a lighthouse. During his induction he meets Isabel and there is real chemistry, they swap love letters and marry within the year. Their life is bliss as they nestle in their love for one another in the most isolated of environments. A family is the punctuation point needed to complete their perfect life. Isabel miscarries twice. We share their heartache and our investment is complete. Then a boat washes up, there is a baby aboard.
I'm predicting an Oscar nomination for The Light Between Oceans but I don't think it will win. Weisz as the grieving mother and widow fills the space in her usual charming manner however I wasn't convinced the vital role of Hannah Roennfeldt suited her range. My criticism is minor but the character is crucial to the final stanza of the film. I'd like to have felt more compassionate towards Hannah. Meanwhile this wonderful film will win and break hearts the world over for years to come. 10GUMS.