peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 11 05 TheLightBetweenOceans

The Light Between Oceans (2016)

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Completism for director/co-writer Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines) and Michael Fassbender, who has done very little in the past several years. This mawkish snoozefest is doomed from the first frame. It's just after World War I. Fassbender returns from the war with the intention of tending a lighthouse but also marries inexplicably single Alicia Vikander at her unfathomable insistence. A baby arrives on a boat and changes everything into yet another Australian police procedural. Eventually Rachel Weisz's crinkled brow joins the classic early-1980s Australian cast (Jack Thompson, hammy in every scene, Bryan Brown, Gary McDonald!) and we get a minor riff on forgiveness. The locations are weirdly mashed up in an attempt to synthesise remote W.A. from the shops in Stanley, Tasmania, the nearby Nut, some expansive beach, and somewhere in New Zealand. The cinematography is too often too gloomy. Too many letters.

Dana Stevens. Stephen Holden.