Disney’s decision to open Derek Cianfrance‘s The Light Between Oceans on September 2nd, or on the opening day of the 2016 Telluride Film Festival, speaks volumes. Cianfrance is a gifted and ambitious director, and it may be that Oceans will be seen down the road as a review-driven, adult-must-see — but if Disney had any faith in its award-season potential they would open it after Telluride/Toronto.
On top of which the motivation behind Alicia Vikander‘s Isabel character seems a bit daffy, as I explained in 1 12.21.15 riff.
Pic is an adaptation of M.L. Stedman‘s “The Light Between Oceans,” a 1920s period drama about Tom (Michael Fassbender), a World War I veteran and lighthouse keeper, and his wife Isabel who live on an isolated island off the west coast of Australia.
The inciting incident is the discovery of a dead man and a live baby in a boat that’s washed onto shore. Having suffered through two miscarriages and a stillbirth, Isabel decides that the baby is a “gift from God” (baby Moses found in the Nile reeds) and ignores her husband’s natural impulse to report the discovery. Reality eventually intrudes.
Who could identify with a woman so deluded or self-absorbed that she would believe she can keep an abandoned baby like a $20 bill found on the street? Who would raise a child on an isolated island without benefit of schools and the opportunity to develop social skills?
On top of which how did Rachel Weisz, an exotic-looking Jewish brunette, manage to have a blonde daughter who looks like she modelled for the Gerber’s baby food label?
I don’t even want to see this thing, despite Stedman’s 2012 book having been roundly praised.
Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander in forthcoming Focus Features release, The Light Between Oceans.