Based on the best-selling novel by M.L. Stedman, this wrenching romantic drama is adapted and directed by Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine"). In it we see a lighthouse keeper and the love of his life rescue an infant from a rowboat adrift off the coast of Australia. Because of their own personal tragedies, this seems like a gift from above. Did someone say "Be careful what you wish for?"
Our screening audience found it unpredictable and we discussed whether or not it is a chick flick. Granted there is no CGI, no gunfire, no vehicular mayhem and no blowie uppie stuff. There IS a lovely montage of a newly married couple finding comfort and happiness in each other. Maybe it IS a chick flick, but the men seemed to be interested in this moral dilemma and the legal issues involved.
Here is a part of the highly acclaimed cast:
This is PG-13, so expect adult topics and two extremely well-acted miscarriages. For an actress who, to the best of my knowledge has never had a child, Vikander avoids all of the screaming and histrionics so often employed by other actresses. Her affection for her husband and her little girl just radiate from the screen. In addition, you may smile at the difference between a "real" Aussie version of "Waltzing Matilda" and the simpler song taught in American schools.
Adam Arkapaw's cinematography is worthy of mention. We are dazzled by landscapes, seascapes, stormy seas, quiet seas, remote harbors, rocks, meadows, churches, the lighthouse and the incessant wind. We see quiet beaches, sunsets, moonrises, rainstorms, and busy waterfronts. All are terrific.
Even though not one of the three leads attempted an Australian accent, we liked this one but if you have hearing problems go to a theater with Closed Captions or wait for the DVD.