What You Need To Know - March 13, 2017

The Light Between Oceans: What You Need To Know
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

The Light Between Oceans: What You Need To Know

Australian author M.L. Stedman made a splash with her debut novel The Light Between Oceans a few years ago when the manuscript was subject to an international bidding war between 11 major publishing houses, becoming a bestseller on its publication in 2012.

Now the story has been adapted for the big screen and after a run in cinemas last year, The Light Between Oceans is out now in stores on DVD and Blu-ray. You can find the both formats in our online store using the link on the right-hand side of this page, in the meantime here's everything you need to know about it...


Who's in it?

Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz lead a cast that also includes Hiding's Thomas Unger, Glitch's Emily Barclay and Gallipoli's Anthony Hayes.


And who's directing?

Derek Cianfrance, the man behind the lens on Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, is directing the action here, having adapted the script himself from Stedman's novel.


What's the plot?

Fassbender stars as Tom Sherbourne, an ex-soldier who has just returned to his Australian homeland after serving in the trenches of the Western Front during the Great War. Traumatised and suffering from survivor guilt, Tom decides to take a job away from civilisation as the lighthouse keeper on the remote coastal island of Janus Rock, along with his wife Isabelle (Vikander).

The pair are trying for a baby but Isabelle has already suffered two miscarriages in the previous few years, and when the pair lose a third baby the same way, both Tom and Isabelle are plunged into despair.

However, just as Isabelle has reached an emotional nadir, Tom spots a rowing boat adrift on the water near the shore and heads out to investigate. When he reaches the boat he discovers a dead man and a baby which, to his amazement, is alive and well.

Isabelle is convinced that the arrival of the infant is a miracle and a sign that they should keep and raise the baby themselves, but while Tom is initially alarmed by the plan, when they fail to find any way to identify the dead man and with Isabelle becoming increasingly insistent, Tom reluctantly agrees and the pair bury the body on a nearby beach.

Tom and Isabelle begin to raise the child as their own, naming her Lucy, but at a christening ceremony for the baby girl Tom sees a woman named Hannah (Weisz) kneeling at a gravestone bearing the name of her husband Frank and her daughter Grace, the gravestone bearing the same date that he and Isabelle discovered the child.

Tom begins to suspect that Hannah may be the child's real mother and a few years later, at a ceremony on the mainland to celebrate Tom's five years in charge of the lighthouse, his fears are confirmed when he learns from Hannah's sister that Frank and their child, a baby girl named Grace, disappeared and are believed to have died in a boating accident.

Tom tells Isabelle that they should confess and give the child to her real mother, but Isabelle is resistant and Tom find himself in a moral dilemma.


Does it deliver?

Derek Cianfrance had been steadily building a reputation for himself as a skilled director with a knack for the personal touch and his latest film will do that reputation no harm whatsoever. Despite a plot that becomes predictable beyond a certain point, the film remains engaging throughout thanks some stunning cinematography and some excellent performances from its cast, particularly Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz, who provide much of the film's emotional weight. Fassbender is equally impressive though and the film is at equal turns heartwarming and heartbreaking. If you enjoy a tearjerker this is well worth a watch, but keep the tissues handy. You can find a trailer for the film below...

The Light Between Oceans
The Light Between Oceans Derek Cianfrance

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