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Movie Review: ‘The Light Between Oceans’ Runs Shallow and Dim

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The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Is The Light Between Oceans worth the emotional trauma? This movie review will give you the details:

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat should have been a mildly soapy tearjerker turned into a depressingly cruel picture that made me want to bolt right out of my seat. The Light Between Oceans places emotionally damaged people in tough situations where the fate of a child has to be painfully decided. The only problem is that in order to buy into this sob story, you have to ignore the unshakable thought that these characters placed themselves in this very terrible situation by choice.

At first everything is peaches and cream for the quiet Tom (Michael Fassbender) and the chipper Isabel (Alicia Vikander). Tom is a World War I veteran that decides to reside as the lighthouse keeper off an Australian coast. He warms up rather quickly to Isabel and it isn’t long before they’re married, spending their days together on the secluded island to maintain the lighthouse. But when they desire to become parents, their efforts are met with two painful miscarriages.

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The couple’s attempts to have a child of their own were met with heartbreak.

Then one day a boat washes up on shore with a dead father holding his crying baby daughter. How would a normal person respond to such an incident? They’d send a Morse code message back to land that they found a body and baby; perhaps the baby still has a mother that she could be returned to. In fact, that’s exactly what Tom wants to do, despite being more hopeful he can adopt the child, as the mother seems out of the question.

But for the child-desperate Isabel, her tearful answer is to bury the dead body of the father and raise the little girl as their very own. No matter how many times Isabel convinces Tom that this isn’t wrong, it is so insanely wrong that it’s baffling how such a scenario could continue.

And for the rest of The Light Between Oceans, we await the inevitable, but with drama that is both limp and disgusting. It isn’t long before Tom discovers the child’s true mother Hannah (Rachel Weisz) is very much alive and incredibly depressed about losing her husband and daughter. The right thing to do would be to tell her that you found her baby. Then again, the right thing to do would be to tell the authorities that you found a baby and a dead body. The wrong thing to do is send letters and toys to the mother to assure her that her child is alive as if you’re a creepy kidnapper demanding a ransom.

Rachel Weisz The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Rachel Weisz is easily the most sympathetic character in ‘The Light Between Oceans.’

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are both great actors, but even they can’t save this script. Fassbender appears almost entirely one note as a depressed and devoted man, only breaking his mumbling silence to briefly act like a silly dad. Vikander only has two settings of either being smilingly gleeful or clinically depressed. We’re supposed to care about their characters with their passion and plight, but I never reached that point with their romance. There is rarely much guilt associated with either of them, only slightly displayed and never capitalized. Their happiness is seen through bits and pieces of montages while their sadness is mostly filtered through silence, dead gazes and a few tears. They don’t exactly earn the redemption they seek and receive by the third act.

Surprisingly, the best actor in this drama was the child named Lucy by Isabel and Grace by her real mother Hannah. Her performance feels natural and perfectly conveys the innocence of a little girl’s imagination and sheer heartbreak for having her fake mother torn away from her. My heart broke for this little girl who is going to have one messed up childhood for being raised in such an awkward and ugly situation.

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

This little girl is going to have a really tough time adjusting.

But her character is mostly kicked to the curb by the third act as we focus more on the relationship of Isabel and Tom. Why should we care about them when they obviously don’t care that much about the child’s well being? If they truly felt so strongly about this girl, they wouldn’t have even claimed her as their own and sought out her mother to begin with. And, you know, not cover up her real dad’s death.

Rachel Weisz’s character Hannah should be appalled and distraught by such an ordeal, but ultimately ends up forgiving Isabel and Tom after a few weeks. This is a woman who has lost her daughter emotionally and had her husband’s dead body hidden from her; this isn’t exactly something that can easily be forgiven in such a short time. She’s the far better woman in comparison to the insane couple.

Read more to get the rest of the movie review for The Light Between Oceans:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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