The Light Between Oceans
The best-selling novel that swept readers away with its transporting story of fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths one couple will go to see their hardfought dreams realized, comes to the screen as a lush, classically star-crossed romance starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance. As mesmerizingly beautiful as it is heartbreaking, M.L. Stedman’s novel “The Light Between Oceans” was a literary sensation upon its publication in 2012. Set on the remote edge of Western Australia in the years following the devastation of the Great War, the book lured readers into a seductively oldfashioned tale of love and impossible choices beneath which lay roiling, contemporary questions of right and wrong, the effects of war and peace, the wonders of connection and the dangers of blind scruples. This is where Tom Sherbourne, a shell-shocked veteran, devotes himself to his new job as lighthouse keeper on the otherwise uninhabited Janus Rock, surrounded by nothing but the vast sea, seeking solace in the solitude. He intends to remain alone, but unexpectedly meets Isabel Graysmark, a vivacious young woman from the town of Partageuse acrossthe harbor, herself grieving two brothers lost in the war.
Despite the obstacles, their love flourishes in the stark isolation and they are soon married. Passionate for each other and hoping to be part of creating a new life together, they try to start a family, but fate intercedes. Then, one night, a mysterious rowboat holding a dead man and an infant girl washes ashore, setting off a chain of decisions—some impetuous, others wrenching— that unravel with shattering consequences. Cianfrance immediately felt the cinematic potential of a story that invokes the power of landscape, the aftermath of war, the all-consuming state of passion and, most of all, the ageless tradition of romances that push a couple into illuminating moral borderlands. He adapted Stedman’s book faithfully, yet with a filmmaker’s eye for the details that propel human relationships into both bliss and catastrophe. Classification 12A