Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The First "The Light Between Oceans" Trailer is a Compelling, Twisted Drama

Scene from The Light Between Oceans
It may seem premature to begin talking about any new Oscar season, especially since we're only days away from this year's ceremony. However, there's a new trailer that's been released for The Light Between Oceans, which is the latest film from director Derek Cianfrance. With stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, it's the latest from this ambitious filmmaker whose past films Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines explored humanity and relationships in new and fascinating ways. With his latest looks to be just as promising, especially with a bizarre premise in which a loving couple find a baby floating in the water.

I will admit that there's a certain bias that comes with me discussing Cianfrance's work. For starters, I am a huge fan of Blue Valentine. It's a film that struck me immediately and has become one of my all-time favorites, featured prominently in my personal Top 10. Even his follow-up The Place Beyond the Pines did fascinating work with the triptych format and gave some of the best yet overlooked performances of that year. To say the least, I await each and every film he does with high anticipation, as I believe that he's one of the more ambitious indie drama filmmakers currently working (possibly my favorite).

I am especially curious to see what he does with Fassbender, who is another personal favorite. While I have been celibate regarding details of this film, I have been eager to see the first trailer for the film. From the looks of it, it's a shoe-in for another personal favorite from Cianfrance.

Check out the trailer below:

Looks really interesting. Here's the plot according to IMDb:
A lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia raise a baby they rescue from an adrift rowboat.
The one thing I like is how much it looks like a conventional drama at first. It looks like a peculiar love story that will go in a familiar direction. With the additional twist at the end, it becomes a far more compelling story. It is difficult to determine whether revealing the twist helps or hurts the marketing, but it definitely gets me interested. I know that some are prone to spoilers, and I do think that maybe this film suffers from them. In all honesty, I am not familiar enough with the source material to even warrant how much is given away. Still, it looks like a pretty powerful drama with a solid cast.

Another interesting advantage that this film has is that it at least is competing during Oscar season. True, most have come to consider October onward as the prime season. However, with the additional year round Best Picture nominees that have made up the past two years, anything seems possible. Maybe it will do better for featuring current Oscar nominees Fassbender and Vikander. Whatever it may be, it looks like Cianfrance has another hit on his hands, and one can only hope that his bigger scale production doesn't get the best of him.  

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