The Light Between Oceans, C+
Rated PG-13, 132 minutes
Get your hankies out, it's time to see the glossy, well-acted but painfully melodramatic soap opera "The Light Between Oceans," from director Derek Cianfrance ("The Place Beyond the Pines") and based on M.L. Stedman's 2012 best-selling novel. If it weren't for the handsome leads (who are a couple in real-life, thanks to this film), this would be best suited for a Lifetime movie of the week. A couple (Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander) who reside in an Australian lighthouse discover a baby in a boat along with a dead body. They decide to raise the child, a choice that leads to devastating consequences when they meet a mysterious woman (Rachel Weisz) back on the mainland. Lushly filmed and peppered with some captivating moments, Fassbender and recent Oscar-winner Vikander, both of whom share a sweetly pensive chemistry and a natural beauty, are the most memorable thing about the slow-moving, talky love story that will certainly be payback for you guys for making your spouse sit through all those action-oriented guy flicks all summer long. Cianfrance, whose usual efforts tend toward the unconventional and divisive - including "Blue Valentine" and the aforementioned "Pines" - is an intriguing directorial choice here, and not the first to come to mind considering the melodramatic material. The first act is all sticky sweet, then it alternates between sad and happy again and then tragic once more toward the end: those hankies will certainly get a good workout through "The Light Between Oceans," or for those guys seeing the movie, The Light Between All the Trips to Get Popcorn. Fassbender and Vikander make for a lovely couple, but I wouldn't recommend this otherwise.