All Vanity Fair cover stories are blather, but if you read them carefully you can sometimes find a line or two that hints at the truth of things. Case in point: Evgenia Peretz‘s profile of The Light Between Oceans costar Alicia Vikander. Peretz describes Derek Cianfrance’s film (Disney, 9.2) as “the kind of wrenching adult melodrama that Hollywood rarely makes these days, because it’s hard to pull off successfully — although they got this one right.”
Let’s imagine for the sake of argument or hypothesis that they didn’t “get this one right.” That the film underwhelms on this or that level. If so, would there be any chance in hell that Peretz or Vanity Fair would indicate this?
What unsuccessful “wrenching adult melodramas,” I wonder, did Peretz have in mind? Which ones have worked and which haven’t? A more thoughtful writer would have explored this sub-topic to some extent, at least, but that’s not Peretz’s job. She’s on hand to fawn, to spin, to convey glamor and fascination.
Peretz later states that there was “no room for restraint” in the making of Oceans, which is “based on a full-on weepie best-seller” by M. L. Stedman. She reports that the book had director Derek Cianfrance “crying on the C train in Brooklyn when he finished it.”
Seriously? Cianfrance told her that he wept on the C train? This in itself is cause for concern.
“I was looking for someone who had no filters,” Cianfrance says about Vikander. As opposed to other directors who…what, prefer to work with actors who filter their emotions and work from behind a curtain?
“[Vikander’s character of] Isabel, if she loves you, she’s going to ask you to marry her,” Cianfrance says. “If she finds a baby at sea, she’s going to keep it. If she hates you, she’s never going to speak to you again.”
HE’s own Michael Fassbender, Vikander’s costar and real-life boyfriend, says she “doesn’t mind taking a character she’s playing to an ugly place.”