The Light Between Oceans is directed by Derek Cianfrance. Starring Michael Fassbender, it is an emotionally charged drama that peels back the layers of love, loss, and moral ambiguity.
Based on the best-selling by M.L. Stedman, the movie navigates the complex waters of ethical dilemmas while being set against the breathtaking backdrop of a remote Australian lighthouse.
What is the cost of our choices? That is the unanswerable question you are invited to grapple with and one that haunts its deeply flawed yet undeniably sympathetic characters.
What Is The Light Between Oceans About?
Set in post-war Western Australia, a traumatised World War veteran, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs) seeks solace by gaining employment as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a remote island. He then falls deeply in love with a beautiful girl on the mainland.
Tom finds unexpected happiness when he falls in love with Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina), a young woman from the nearby coastal town. They marry and embark on a life of isolated domesticity, a life that appears idyllic but is marred by Isabel's series of miscarriages.
The emotional strain reaches a breaking point until fate intervenes. A rowboat washes ashore, carrying a dead man and a living baby girl.
Despite Tom's reservations, Isabel persuades him to keep the child, arguing that her parents must have perished at sea. Naming her Lucy, they raise her as their own, providing the balm to years of unspoken sorrow.
Their secret happiness is threatened when, on a rare visit to the mainland, they discover the child's biological mother, Hannah Roennfeldt (Rachel Weisz), who is grieving not just the loss of her daughter but also her husband, the man found dead in the rowboat.
Now, Tom and Isabel must confront the devastating implications of their decision, as they face moral and legal dilemmas that challenge the very foundation of their love and family.
As truths unfold, the characters find themselves at the crossroads of complex emotional and ethical landscapes.
Each must make choices that determine not only their futures but also cast ripples through the lives of those around them.
The Light Between Oceans International Trailer
Is The Light Between Oceans Worth Watching?
The story asks many moral questions. How do people cope with loss? How deep is the need for love and connection? What sacrifices are we willing to make in life?
It is the stellar performances of Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander that help us answer them.
The duo deliver nuanced performances, skillfully portraying the raw emotions and ethical struggles of their characters.
The chemistry between them is palpable, making the highs exhilarating and the lows devastating. It's also no surprise that after they met on set in 2014, they then got married and are, apparently, still blissfully in love!
Visually the storytelling is striking, with the remote Australian landscapes serving as a sweeping backdrop that enhances the narrative's emotional gravity.
Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw captures the isolation and beauty of Janus Rock in a way that becomes a character in its own right.
Where the film excels is in crafting characters that are deeply flawed yet relatable, steering clear of one-dimensional archetypes. This complexity allows you to invest emotionally, making the ethical dilemmas faced all the more engaging.
The Light Between Oceans is a great film that will haunt you for some time after watching it. But the emotional roller coaster is well worth the ride – just make sure you have a fair few tissues at the ready as this one ultimately tugs at the heartstrings.
Where Was The Movie Filmed?
The Light Between Oceans is a visually captivating movie that owes much of its charm to its stunning locations. It was primarily shot in New Zealand and Australia.
Otago Peninsula in New Zealand served as the primary location for Janus Rock, the isolated island where Tom works as the lighthouse keeper. The lighthouse seen in the film, however, is not real but a set piece constructed for the movie.
Dunedin, New Zealand was used for some of the town sequences, which depicted life beyond the isolation of the island.
Marlborough, New Zealand, known for its sweeping coastlines, played a significant role in providing backdrops for various oceanic scenes in the movie.
Although much of the film was shot in New Zealand, some scenes, especially those on the mainland where Tom and Isabel interact with the town's inhabitants, were filmed in Stanley, Tasmania, Australia.
Rotoroa Island, New Zealand also played a part with its historical buildings and pristine beaches, it served as a great location for the film.
The remote landscapes not only contributed to the aesthetic beauty of the film but captured the essence of the bestselling source material by underscoring themes of isolation, vastness, and the relentless passage of time.
The Light Between Oceans Movie Cast
Michael Fassbender as Tom Sherbourne, a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby
Alicia Vikander as Isabelle Graysmark, Tom's wife
Rachel Weisz as Hannah Potts
Bryan Brown as Septimus Potts
Jack Thompson as Ralph Addicott
Caren Pistorius as Lucy Grace Rutherford
Anthony Hayes as Vernon Knuckey
Emily Barclay as Gwendolyn “Gwen” Potts
Leon Ford as Franz Johannes Roennfeldt
Get ready for non-stop entertainment with access to thousands of popular movies and TV shows, including award-winning Amazon Originals. Plus, enjoy the convenience of FREE One-Day Delivery on millions of items. With the ability to watch anywhere and cancel anytime, you'll never have to worry about being tied down. So why wait? – Join Now
30-day free trial available.