Alicia Vikander is the Light of “The Light Between Oceans”
By Skip Sheffield
The world is falling in love with Alicia Vikander. The beautiful 27-year-old actress co-stars with Michael Fassbender in “The Light Between Oceans,” based on the 2012 M.L. Stedman novel of the same name.
Alicia Vikander is from Sweden, but she does not fit the stereotype. Petite, slight, with brown hair and luminous brown eyes, she looks younger than her physical years. She is an actress of uncommon power, as she proved as the alluring robot girl in “Ex Machina” and the stalwart wife in “The Danish Girl.”
Michael Fassbender is from Germany. He has excelled in macho roles in “Inglourious Basterds” and “X-Men,” but his Tom Sherborne is a most sensitive sort. It is December of 1918, and Tom is a shell-shocked World War I veteran. He just wants to be alone, and the remote island of Janus Rock in New Zealand is about as quiet as you can get. The lighthouse keeper at Janus Rock has quit under murky circumstances, and Tom agrees to give the job a try.
In town he meets a beautiful young woman named Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander). Isabel is not shy. When Tom says he is allowed no visitors at his lighthouse job, Isabel blurts, “Then marry me.”
And so they marry and enjoy each other’s company on the remote rock. Isabel desperately wants to become a mother, but after two miscarriages, she resigns herself to childlessness. Then miraculously Tom spots a rowboat floating in the stormy seas. He retrieves the boat and discovers within it a dead man and a living baby girl.
Isabel immediately wants to raise the girl as her own. Tom thinks he should report the incident to proper authorities, but in the end he bows to the wishes of his wife.
Sadly, Tom harbors a sense of guilt, and when he discovers the girl’s birth mother, Hannah Roennfeldt (Rachel Weisz), the guilt gets the best of him.
“The Light Between Oceans” is an unabashed tearjerker. There is no happy ending; just a sense of completion. The film is beautifully shot by Adam Arkapa and directed by the same man who brought us the dark gems “The Place Beyond the Pines” and “Blue Valentine.” But the best reason to see this movie is to see Alicia Vikander; one of the hottest actresses in the world not just for her good looks, but for her ability to convey heartfelt emotion.