Film Review: The Light Between Oceans Will Make You Ugly Cry

Alright, I am going to admit something here….. I did not expect The Light Between Oceans to be good. There I said it! The trailers were….nice. Yet, they did not do justice to the actual film. Sure, the images of a happy family by the ocean were picturesque, and Rachel Weisz crying still manages to be gorgeous. Still. the film overrides bouts of boredom to stir up an incomprehensible empathy from the audience for Alicia Vikander’s Isabel. 

Alicia Vikander is the light of this film by offering a performance that will milk every ounce of sympathy you have in yourself. Vikander is riveting as Isabel; a vivaciously bold and personable woman whose lively spirit is dimming due to her inability to carry a child to birth. When Isabel and her husband Tom (played by dream husband to millions of women Michael Fassbender) find a child in an abandoned boat drifting towards their light house, they take her in as their own. To Isabel, this is  God’s hand giving her a motherly opportunity, to which she relishes the minute she takes the child to her breast. Soon after, the film enters into happy sequences of familial love, to which I call the “awwww” section of the movie. Yet, this section is necessary as it is the setup for Isabel and Tom’s moral dilemma. They grow to adore and adulate this baby girl, named Lucy, as if she is more than their daughter; she is their Heaven. Therefore, when they take a trip to the mainland and accidentally find Lucy’s biological mom, Hannah (Rachel Weisz), the couple are torn on whether they should alleviate this grieving mother from mourning her child’s false death or keep their happy family together.

The Light Between Oceans

Ugh….just ugh. That is how I feel throughout this film. There was”no winning” in this movie, which is why I loved it in an odd way. The Light Between Oceans confronts the issues in life where someone has to lose and suffer for another person to be happy. Nobody wishes to believe that such situations exist, and I pray them away fervently. Yet, this film grows and revels in said situations, which is why you will ugly cry. You feel so uncomfortable and distraught as you watch two mothers (one adoptive and one biological) go through the spiritual turmoil of trying to keep their baby. The problem is they both call themselves mother to the same little girl, and though you may say Hannah is Lucy’s biological mom, Isabel grows to be Lucy’s motherby heart. The love she has for that child is unconditional and unlimited, which serves Vikander amazing opportunities to show the range of talent that she is. Again. she IS this film, and part of the reason, that despite your morality, you curse the day she decided to take a trip to the mainland with her baby and husband. You will probably repeat in your mind “You should have stayed home!” a billion times!

The Light Between Oceans Comes Out In Theaters on September 2. Bring TISSUES!