And finally checked out The Light Between Oceans, a new movie at the theaters starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weisz. I had no idea what this movie was going in but had the impression that maybe it had about 100% fewer alien invasions or gun battles than your average theatrical release. I was right on that account.
The movie is about a man who survived World War 1 and takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on an island off the coast of western Australia. Over the course of the first third of the flick, he takes up a letter-writing romance with Vikander’s character and eventually they wed and she moves out to the island with him. Then things start going south when they have a baby and another baby washes up on shore in a lifeboat. I won’t go into more detail, even though the trailer (which I watched after and had never seen before) gives away a ton of the story.
The first hour of the film was only so interesting as it focused on Fassbender and Vikander and set up the drama for the second half. the second half was much more interesting from a narrative and emotional stance. It’s central crisis was a good example of a morality play as you can easily side with both sets of characters (again, trying to avoid spoilers so have to be vague). I was impressed by how involved I was in a movie… especially without any alien invasions and not one gun fight. (kidding… but still true).
Basically, this is the kind of movie they don’t make anymore. A half romance/half melodrama that might also be called a weepie. It’s a slow-paced, gorgeous looking movie that really lets its actors dig into their parts, create interesting characters, and introduces some serious moral quandaries to play against. The film was directed by the guy who made Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines so if you are familiar with either of those flicks, you know he doesn’t do typical Hollywood movies. So kudos to him and for getting the film released theatrically.
I recommend this to anyone looking for a good adult movie who might just also be the kind of person who wants to think and/or cry. It’s a pretty emotionally wrenching movie and you will root for everyone to just get along and for happy ending. I can’t say if you’ll get it, but it’s worth a sit if you are patient and like this kind of romantic morality play.