“One day this will all feel like a dream.”
At almost two hours and twenty minutes ‘The Light Between Oceans’ is a long watch. Although at times it is regularly engaging and is always well acted it doesn’t quite do enough. A hybrid of melodrama, romance and psychological drama – these different pieces don’t quite manage to settle together in the same puzzle. Considering the trailer gives away the majority of the plot the draw is seeing how the events play out. There are a few twists along the way but the suspense being generated in nowhere near constant enough to maintain either attention or engagement.
Both Fassbender and Vikander give their all into their performances which, thanks to the overlong running time, sadly just isn’t enough. The cinematography is astonishing and these rarely seen parts of Australia are shot beautifully . What wants to be an old-fashioned weepie tugs far too hard and far too often at the heartstrings to achieve the desired emotional response from the viewer. The outcome is melodrama served with far too much slush and claustrophobic sense of inevitable doom. It looks great but there’s little depth to it – I’d be surprised if it gets the Oscar attention it desperately desires.
Dir: Derek Cianfrance
Country: United States, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand
Year: 2016 Run time:138 minutes
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Florence Clery, Jack Thompson.