James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (15)
D: Derek Cianfrance
Entertainment One/Dreamworks/Heyday/Reliance/Participant Media/Touchstone/Amblin (David Heyman & Jeffrey Clifford)
US/UK/Australia/New Zealand 🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇦🇺 🇳🇿 2016
W: Derek Cianfrance [based on the novel by M.L. Stedman]
DP: Adam Arkapaw
Ed: Jim Helton & Ron Patane
Mus: Alexandre Desplat
Michael Fassbender (Tom Sherbourne), Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark Sherbourne), Rachel Weisz (Hannah Roennfeldt), Bryan Brown (Septimus Potts), Caren Pistorius (Lucy-Grace Rutherford)
Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander star in this adaptation of M.L. Stedman's novel, a domestic drama set against the backdrop of a lighthouse off the coast of Australia.
The film starts in 1918, when traumatised World War I soldier Tom Sherbourne takes a position at a vacant lighthouse to deal with his wartime traumas. He falls in love with and marries a local girl, Isabel, who falls pregnant and subsequently miscarries. However, the couple discover an abandon child at sea and raise her as their own for several years, until the real mother makes herself known to them.
The film possesses some excellent acting performances, a beautiful music score and a tender moral dilemma at the heart of its story, unfortunately it suffers in the edit, particularly with its very slow build-up. Without doubt, it's a fine film, but it really didn't need to be more than two hours long.