Taglines: Love demands everything.
In the years following World War I, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), a young veteran still numb from his years in combat, takes a job as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a remote island off the coast of Western Australia. As the island’s sole inhabitant, he finds comfort in the monotony of the chores and the solitude of his surroundings. When he meets the daughter of the school’s headmaster, Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander), in the local town of Partageuse on the mainland, Tom is immediately captivated by her beauty, wit and passion, and they are soon married and living on the island.
As their love flourishes, he begins to feel again, their happiness marred only by their inability to start a family, so when a rowboat with a dead man and infant girl mysteriously washes ashore, Isabel believes their prayers may have finally been answered. As a man of principle, Tom is torn between reporting the lost child and pleasing the woman he loves, and against his better judgment he agrees to let Isabel raise the child as their own, making a choice with devastating consequences. DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Light Between Oceans” opens in U.S. theaters on September 2nd.
The Light Between Oceans is a romantic period drama film written and directed by Derek Cianfrance and based on the 2012 novel of the same name by M. L. Stedman. An international co-production between the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the film stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson. The film tells the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue and adopt an infant girl adrift at sea. Years later, the couple discovers the child’s true parentage and are faced with the moral dilemma of their actions.
The Light Between Oceans had its world premiere at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival on September 1, 2016, where it competed for the Golden Lion. The film was released by Touchstone Pictures in North America on September 2, 2016, being the last DreamWorks Pictures film distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through their 2011 output deal. The film will be released in the United Kingdom on November 4, 2016, by Entertainment One Films. It received mixed reviews and has grossed $15 million.
About the Story
Tom Sherbourne, a veteran of World War I, is hired as a lightkeeper at Janus Rock, a lighthouse off the coast of Western Australia. He falls in love with a local girl, Isabel Graysmark, and they marry in 1921. Isabel loses two pregnancies in three years, and fears she may never become a mother.
Shortly after Isabel’s second miscarriage, Tom discovers a rowboat has washed up on the shore near the lighthouse. He and Isabel discover a dead man and a badly frightened baby girl in the boat. Tom knows that government and company regulations require him to report the discovery. However, Isabel fears that the baby will almost certainly be sent to an orphanage, and persuades Tom to pass the baby off as their own. Tom grudgingly agrees. He buries the man on the island, and they name the girl Lucy.
As Tom and Isabel are about to have Lucy christened, Tom sees a woman kneeling in front of a grave. He discovers that the headstone bears the name of Frank Roennfeldt, and also mentions his missing daughter, Grace. Frank died on the same day that they found Lucy. Tom fears that Lucy might very well be the woman’s missing daughter. He finds out that her name is Hannah Roennfeldt, and writes to her to tell her that her baby is safe and sound.
Three years later, Tom, Isabel, and Lucy attend a ceremony for the anniversary of Tom’s lighthouse, and they strike up a conversation with Hannah and her sister, Gwen Potts. They learn that Frank was a German native, and had been accosted in the street in 1927 by a drunken crowd. He jumped into a rowboat and fled along with his baby daughter—who would have been Lucy’s age. Tom realizes he can no longer in good conscience keep up their ruse, and sends Hannah a small rattle that was found with Lucy on the boat. One of Tom’s coworkers recognizes the rattle on a reward poster, and turns Tom in.
When Tom sees that the police are on their way, he takes full responsibility, denying Isabel’s role. Isabel is enraged that Tom is willing to give Lucy away, and breaks off all contact with him after his arrest. Lucy is reunited with her mother, but initially rejects her birth family, even refusing to answer to “Grace.” She even runs away in an effort to go back to the lighthouse.
The Light Between Oceans
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Florence Clery, Jack Thompson, Jane Menelaus, Emily Barclay
Screenplay by: Derek Cianfrance
Production Design by: Karen Murphy
Cinematography by: Adam Arkapaw
Film Editing by: Jim Helton, Ron Patane
Costume Design by: Erin Benach
Art Direction by: Sophie Nash
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material and some sexual content.
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures
Release Date: September 2, 2016