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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Writer's Life 6/24 - Light & Color

Although it is a fine film, The Light Between Oceans (2016) did not generate much buzz upon its release. It is the heartbreaking story of a laconic World War I combat veteran who takes a job at an isolated lighthouse off the coast of western Australia. The day before he leaves for the tiny island he meets a woman. They begin a correspondence that leads to marriage. They are happy until the wife suffers consecutive miscarriages. Fate intervenes when a dinghy washes up on their shore. Inside are a crying infant and a dead man. The woman convinces her husband to pass the child off as theirs. After much anguish and contrary to his rigid sense of right and wrong, he agrees. Four years later he stumbles upon the birth mother. Germany's Michael Fassbender, one of the hottest actors in the world at present, is outstanding in the lead, as are Sweden's Alicia Vikander as his wife, and the great Rachel Weisz as the birth mom. America's Derek Cianfrance was at the helm and also adapted the screenplay from M.L. Stedman's best-seller, which must be a heck of a novel. I'd seen one of Cianfrance's previous efforts, the highly regard The Place Between the Pines (2012), which I was not crazy about but respected because it was different. I hope he continues to do different. Worldwide, The Light Between Oceans was modestly successful at the box office, returning $25 million+ against production costs of $20 million. My guess is that it is too downbeat for most moviegoers. I'd bet most of its take came from those who'd read the book, and also that it appeals primarily to females. Aussie screen vets Jack Thompson and Bryan Brown lend their considerable talents in support. The pace is leisurely and the running time exceeds two hours. The location photography is breathtaking. 28,000+ users at IMDb have rated it, forging to a consensus of 7.2 of ten, too low in my estimation. It is an old fashion story about good people in unfortunate circumstances. Life is so unfair to a young woman filled with love, married to a moral man whose character is his destiny. Here's a still:

I had no luck selling books on the street today. I had a visit from B.S. Bob, who told me about another of his screenplay ideas. The main character is a big fan of Fred Astaire and devotes several floors in a building he owns to scenes from the great dancer's movies. In one scene Bob would have the lead, either Hugh Jackman or Jean DuJardin from The Artist (2011), dancing on the keys of a huge typewriter. I hated to reveal that this had been done in Absolute Beginners (1986). Of course, there's no reason it couldn't be done again. Here's a still of David Bowie from that colorful flick:

Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

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