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429 Ratings

The Light Between Oceans

Directed by Derek Cianfrance
United Kingdom, 2016


A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat. Based on a novel by author M.L. Steadman.

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The Light Between Oceans Directed by Derek Cianfrance
In the hands of writer-director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines), M.L. Stedman’s engrossing 2013 Thomas Hardy–inspired novel about a World War I veteran who becomes a lightkeeper on Janus Rock, 100 miles off the western coast of Australia, has been transformed into little more than a pious tearjerker.
September 01, 2016
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The lead actors all weep convincingly, yet Fassbender and Vikander seem too awkward together to have been living side by side for years. At the climax the wife makes a decision antithetical to her character, and a morally complex film derails into hackneyed Nicholas Sparks territory, complete with a tacked-on epilogue to tie up all the loose ends.
September 01, 2016
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There’s nothing assaultive or aggressively experimental about the film, but in its construction, Cianfrance has taken great care to keep it from being snoozy awards-bait. If the movie exacts a few tears from you, don’t be embarrassed: It works for those tears honestly, and the two actresses who anchor the picture, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz, give nuanced and deeply sympathetic performances.
September 01, 2016
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