One of 2016’s most underrated films, The Light Between Oceans centers on Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), a lighthouse keeper who’s married to a free spirited woman named Isabel (Alicia Vikander). The couple live on a remote and windswept island off Australia, and apart from receiving supplies from the main land, they are completely off the grid.
When a lifeboat washes ashore with a baby, Tom and Isabel raise the child on their own, refusing to inform authorities regarding their discovery. Rachel Weisz co-stars in the feature as the person who throws a fateful wrench into their plans.
Based on M.L. Stedman’s novel and directed by Derek Cianfrance (he also penned the screenplay, The Light Between Oceans is a visually breathtaking and oftentimes heartbreaking look at a couple’s enduring love and their desire to raise a family even at their own peril.
The 16 minute featurette “Bringing The Light To Life” is an incisive look at Cianfrance’s creative process and attention to detail. The cast and crew actually lived on the beach that houses the Cape Campbell Lighthouse to give the movie a deeper sense of authenticity. A garden, livestock, and a set were built in the area (the actual lighthouse is still standing), with Cianfrance often letting the cameras roll during the domestic scenes between Fassbender and Vikander. The sequences on the island are actually the strongest aspect of the movie, and most of the “Bringing The Light To Life” featurette showcases those scenes.
The second featurette, “Lighthouse Keeper,” goes into further depth on the history of the Cape Campbell Lighthouse. The disco’s audio commentary between Cianfrance and film studies professor Phil Solomon is also informative. Both men are cinephiles, and there’s a ton of value added comment in their discussion. One of the commentary’s many insights include Cianfrance’s decision to shoot the film in digital. Though he initially wanted to shoot The Light Between Oceans on film, he details how the warm and rich hues of the film were created while shooting on the Arri Alexa.
The Light Between Oceans is now out on Blu-ray and Digital HD.