The Light Between Oceans (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 17, 2017 by  

Derek Cianfrance’s “The Light Between Oceans” is a love story that tests the bonds of true love and difficult decisions made based on the strength of that love. Even though those decisions made by the film’s loving couple, for the sake of their love, is illegal.  Touching, heartbreaking but yet a film full of hope, “The Light Between Oceans” is a film worth checking out!”.

Images courtesy of © 2016 Storyteller Distribution, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Light Between Oceans


DURATION: 133 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Description Track, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

COMPANY: DreamWorks Pictures/Touchstone Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Thematic Material and Some Sexual Content)

RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2017

Based on the Novel by M.L. Stedman

Directed by Derek Cianfrance

Written by Derek Cianfrance

Produced by Jeffrey Clifford, David Heyman

Executive Producer: Rosie Alison, Tom Karnowski, Jonathan King, Jeff Skoll

Music by Alexandre Desplat

Cinematography by Adam Arkapaw

Edited by Jim Helton, Ron Patane

Casting by Nikki Barrett, Francine Maisler

Production Design by Karen Murphy

Art Direction by Sophie Nash

Costume Design by Erin Benach


Michael Fassbender as Tom Sherbourne

Alicia Vikander as Isabel Graysmark

Rachel Weisz as Hannah Roennfeldt

Florence Clery as Lucy-Grace

Jack Thompson as Ralph Addicott

Thomas Unger as Bluey Smart

Jane Menelaus as Violet Graysmark

Garry McDonald as Bill Graysmark

Lighthouse keeper Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) and radiant, spirited Isabel (Alicia Vikander) live together in married bliss on a remote, rugged island off the coast of Australia. But their windswept world is turned upside down when Isabel learns that she’s unable to bear a child. One day, a drifting lifeboat washes ashore with a crying baby in it. The dilemma the couple now face will echo far beyond the island, engulfing and irrevocably impacting their world — and that of a stranger (Rachel Weisz) — in a passionate story about love, hope, and a fateful choice.

From filmmaker/writer Derek Cianfrance (“The Place Beyon dthe Pines”, “Blue Valentine”, “Brother Tied”) comes his latest film “The Light Between Oceans”.  An adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s 2012 novel.

An international co-production between the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand, the film stars Michael Fassbender (“Inglorious Basterds”, “Prometheus”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “X-Men: First Class”), Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”, “The Danish Girl”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”) and Florence Clery.

The film was released in theaters in September 2016 and now the film will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.

And now the film will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Disney in January 2017.

The film is set not long after World War I, Tom Sherbourne (portrayed by Michael Fassbender) is a man who was traumatized by the war and despite being called a war hero, he is withdrawn from his surroundings.

Having moved to Western Australia, Tom finds comfort in Isabel Graysmark (portrayed by Alicia Vikander) and both fall in love and eventually marry in 1921.  Tom is hired as a lightkeeper at Janus rock and the two embark as a married couple trying to have children.

Unfortunately, within the three years of marriage, Isabel loses two pregnancies and she becomes depressed that she will never have a child.

But as Isabel mourns in front of the burial site of her babies outside their home, Tom spots a boat from the lighthouse and Isabel hears the cries of a baby.

The two run towards the small boat that has washed up on sea and they find a dead man and inside a baby.  As Isabel goes to change the baby and feeds her, Tom tells her that must alert authorities as part of his job regulations.  But Isabel pleads for Tom to wait until the next morning before calling the authorities.

The following morning, Isabel pleads to Tom not to contact the authorities as the baby would be sent to an orphanage and begs for him to pass the baby as their own.

Knowing the pain that Isabel has been through, Tom agrees and he buries the body and they name the baby, Lucy.

A few years have past and Tom and Isabel have raised Lucy and are planning to have her christened on the mainland.  But Tom spots a woman kneeling in front of a grave.

The woman is named Hannah Roennfeldt (portrayed by Rachel Weisz) and when Tom goes to look at the gravestone, he sees the names of Frank Roennfeldt and his baby daughter Grace Ellen, who were lost at sea on April 26, 1923.  This was the day that Tom and Isabel found the ship with the deceased man and baby girl, who they ended up raising.

Tom is overcome with guilt and feels that Lucy may be Grace and he writes an anonymous letter to Hannah telling her that her husband is dead but her baby is safe and well-cared for.

But as guilt overcomes Tom, how long can he and Isabel pretend to be the real parents of Lucy and will the truth ever come out and Hannah find out the truth of what happened to her husband and child?


“The Light Between Oceans” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality features wonderful detail for closeups, showcasing the film’s warm colors.  Especially when it showcases the beautiful setting of the area of New Zealand the film was shot.   And for the most part, the film looks wonderful in HD.


“The Light Between Oceans” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English and Spanish 2.0 Description Audio and Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital. Featuring crystal clear dialogue and music, the film is primarily front and center-channel driven with surround channels for ambiance, such as earlier sequences with a storm or crowd ambiance inside the church.

Subtitles are in English SDH, Spanish and French.


“The Light Between Oceans” comes with the following special features:

  • Bringing the Light to Life – (16:46) Interviews with writer/director Derek Cianfrance and the cast of the film discussing the storyline and working with each other.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Derek Cianfrance and Film Studies Professor Phil Solomon.
  • Lighthouse Keeper – (5:40) A featurette about finding the location and a lighthouse that would be the main setting in the film.


The Light Between Oceans” comes with a slipcover and a Digital HD code.

Love and the bond between two people.  Some can see that bond as being unbreakable but what if that couple did something for the sake of love, even though what they were doing was illegal?

This is the predicament that couple, Tom and Isabel face in the film “The Light Between Oceans” as Michael Fassbender’s Tom is a World War I hero who is withdrawn and no doubt suffering the major effects of PTSD and has come back home with guilt hanging over him.

The only light that has come to his life was a woman named Isabel, portrayed by Alicia Vikander, with her radiant spirit and together they fall in love and get married. And move to an island where Tom has a new job as the lighthouse’s new lightkeeper.

Unfortunately, as the two want to start having a family, Isabel unfortunately two pregnancies for Isabel has led to loss and tremendous pain for her and all Tom can do is provide support.  But he knows his wife is in tremendous emotional pain, depressed and is suffering from the two losses.

But one day, a ship washes up near their home and inside, a dead man and a crying baby.

And Isabel immediately bonds with the baby and she begs her husband to have them pass the baby off as one of their own and she begs Tom to not call the authorities about the deceased man found on the boat.

For the love of his wife, he decides to go through with it and bury the man and the two raise the baby girl as their own. Giving her all the love and affection that she needs.

A few years pass and as they go to the mainland, Tom finds out that a woman he spots at a cemetery is the wife of the man who is deceased and the mother of the baby that they are raising.

Confronted with overwhelming guilt of seeing a woman mourning her loved one’s death, he can’t help but write her a letter anonymously to let her know that her husband is dead but her baby is very much alive and being taken care of.

But seeing the mother, Hannah (portrayed by the talented Rachel Weisz) in so much pain, how much longer can both Tom and Isabela keep up the lie that their daughter Lucy is not their true daughter and that she is the missing daughter that belongs to Hannah.

A love story about the bond between the two and the difficult choices they must make for the sake of each other, for the sake of the girl they raised and love.

The film is no doubt heartbreaking but also a film of hope, even though “hope” is portrayed in different situations for each character.

The performances by Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz are wonderful but it’s a film that is predictable and I don’t want to say anything more, as it would spoil the film for those interested in watching it.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good as the film features great detail.  Lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and musical score with a few special features included.

Overall, Derek Cianfrance’s “The Light Between Oceans” is a love story that tests the bonds of true love and difficult decisions made based on the strength of that love.  Even though those decisions made by the film’s loving couple, for the sake of their love, is illegal.

Touching, heartbreaking but yet a film full of hope, “The Light Between Oceans” is a film worth checking out!

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