MOVIE REVIEW: Fairytale romance becomes epic tear jerker
THERE'S something comforting about walking into a cinema with no idea about what you're going to see, only to spend the next two hours spotting familiar Australian faces.
And as far as comfort goes, that's about as much as you will get when watching tear jerker The Light Between Oceans. Keep your eyes peeled for the Aussies Jack Thompson, Garry McDonald, Bryan Brown and Leon Ford, amongst others.
The film is set in 1918, just after the First World War, and follows the story of Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) who returns to Australia from the horrors of the Western Front in search of solitude.
He finds it off the coast of West Australia as a lighthouse keeper on the remote island of Janus Rock. Queue beautiful shots of the coastal wilderness showing the power of Mother Nature.
After a three-month stint on the island, Tom returns to the mainland where he meets Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander). The pair share a moment before he returns to his lonely outpost but they keep in touch through romantic letters. Swoon.
The story kind of writes itself from there for a while - the pair fall in love, marry, Isabel moves to the island and then we're treated to a moving montage showing their deep love for each other. Swoon.
What comes next? Normally in happily ever afters, Isabel would fall pregnant, they'd raise a family and live a long and happy life together.
But this isn't a fairytale.
After struggling to have children of their own, Tom spots a boat dinghy being tossed around by waves close to shore. In it he finds a man's dead body and a crying baby girl. This is where the real part of the story begins.
Isabel convinces her husband to keep the child, but every action has its consequences and what follows this couple's choice to keep the baby and raise her as their own is heartbreaking.
The Light Between Oceans starts off as a classic love story and Fassbender and Vikander play their roles fantastically, but it felt a little drawn out.
Romantics will love this film, but be warned - when the lights came back on many in the crowd had been reduced to a snivelling, nose-blowing mess.