This week BUFS is pleased to present The Light Between Oceans directed by Derek Cianfrance.
The Light Between Oceans is a heartfelt drama about love and the lengths we would go for it. The film stars Michal Fassbender as Tom Sherbourne, an emotionally scarred World War 1 veteran who takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on a vast and remote island off the western coast of Australia. Here he hopes to find peace and solitude after the chaos and noise of the war.
During his brief visits to the mainland, Tom meets Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander). Isabel is fiery and confident. Tom is completely taken by her. The chemistry between the couple is so intensely raw and beautiful. This love is a factor that is extremely important in the film because viewers will not only believe in it, they will actually root for it, despite all the morally questionable choices they make.
Eventually the pair gets married and Isabel comes to live with him at the lighthouse and they create their own little world on the island.
Isabel and Tom’s dream is to extend their family by having children. Isabel becomes pregnant twice and on both occasions the pregnancies are not successful causing her to lose the children. Then, divine intervention occurs and they are given the opportunity to be parents. Shortly after the second miscarriage, Tom notices a rowboat being engulfed by the seas. He swims out to it and notices that inside are a dead man and a living baby. Tom’s human instinct is to instantly report the incident. However, his love for Isabel outweighs his voice of reason as she convinces him to instead pretend the baby is theirs. They falsify the records and for a while they are happy. Their fantasy of having a family became a reality. However, during a visit to the mainland, they discover that the child is being mourned by her mother (Rachel Weisz) who presumed that the baby had died at sea with her husband. Unable to cope with his role in this emotional torment this woman is facing he makes a decision that threatens his marriage and his future.
Derek Cianfrance’s ability to direct raw heart wrenching films is magnificent as evident with two of his most acclaimed films Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines. The Light Between Oceans takes its audience one step further with its powerful pull that has its viewers witnessing extraordinary human heartbreak, guilt, love and redemption like never before. This is truly a must see this season.
-Desirae Stack, Contributor