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The Light Between Oceans | 2016 | PG-13 | - 5.3.1

After WWI a veteran (Michael Fassbender) becomes a lighthouse keeper on an Australian island. With his wife (Alicia Vikander) they find an abandoned baby in a rowboat and while he wants to notify authorities, his wife wants to keep the infant. In the coming years they have to confront a wealthy woman that threatens to break up their family. Also with Rachel Weisz, Emily Barclay, Bryan Brown, Leon Ford, Benedict Hardy and Jack Thompson. Directed by Derek Cianfrance. [2:12]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A wife enters a bedroom and sits on the bed as her new husband enters the room nervously; the camera cuts to a view of the bedroom in very dim light and we see their shoulders and her long hair covering her chest as they sit on the bed and they kiss, gasp and groan (he lays on top of her on the bed and intercourse is strongly implied) and we then see his bare back.
 A close shot shows part of the torso of a nude woman sitting apparently on the groin of a man in bed -- we see only his face and neck as he kisses her abdomen and we see her bare abdomen and part of one buttock; the camera cuts to the couple clothed as she tells him that she is pregnant and he smiles.
 A man and a woman kiss briefly at their wedding. A flashback shows a couple being married and they kiss briefly. We see a married couple in a kitchen as they kiss briefly and we see her moderately swollen belly; the camera cuts to the man holding a baby. A flashback shows a wife bending over a bed and briefly kissing her clothed husband. A man and a woman kiss briefly outdoors. A woman hugs a man and tries to kiss him, but he refuses the kiss.
 Two women wear long dresses with necklines that show a slight amount of cleavage.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A woman suffers two miscarriages: During the first one she grimaces, groans, wails, cries and bends over in pain before slumping to the floor and struggling, going outside and into a fierce rainstorm with high winds, up a hill, and up a long flight of steps to a lighthouse where she pounds on the door but no one hears her (her husband opens the door and finds her collapsed on the landing in the morning, but we see no blood and we see her under covers in bed as she says, "The baby is gone"); during the second miscarriage her belly is swollen and she groans while sitting at a piano at home, then she paces, shudders and assures her husband that she is alright before grimacing and wailing and she shouts, "It's coming! Make it stop! No! No! It's too early! Help me save it," (she screams but we see no blood) and the camera cuts to a hillside the next day where her husband has placed a small cross for each of the two miscarriages.
 A rowboat floats onto an island shoreline and we hear a baby crying; we see a gray-faced dead man curled up in the boat along with the crying infant as a man and a woman find the boat and argue about reporting the corpse and the baby to authorities.
 A woman sees a toddler in a store; the child runs, hugs the woman and the child's mother demands to have her child back, crying and raising her voice as she pries the child away and walks out of the store. A child goes missing from her home and the mother runs around frantically calling her name as we see the child's doll floating in a puddle on a beach; a search party uses lanterns to search fields and a shoreline, where a detective finds the child unconscious in the sand (he carries her home and we see that she is unharmed).
 A man digs a grave, covers a dead man with a sheet and buries him. At a train station, two men are missing a leg each and using crutches with one trouser leg is pinned up; several other men limp and some of them use crutches. Three men dig up a grave on an island, but we do not see a body.
 A man stands in a jail cell, holding the bars and we later see police detectives question him and his wife separately; the man is later charged with murder and child abduction and is taken away on a boat and the wife runs onto the dock shouting to police that it was her idea to steal the baby and that the man found a dead body in a boat with the baby as the scene ends and a detective later says the couple will both go to jail. In a brief scene, a middle-aged man sits on a hospital bed, holding the hand of an elderly white-haired woman who wears a wedding ring.
 A husband and his wife argue several times about keeping a baby they found; she becomes extremely angry in two scenes, crying and slapping his chest and arms. A husband and his wife argue and he says that he will take the blame for stealing a baby; he is arrested, his wife cries and detectives take the baby away from her forcibly as she screams in the station corridor.
 A woman in a church cemetery kneels and sings as we see a headstone with an inscription that her husband and infant daughter were lost at sea. A woman is upset when she receives a note in her mailbox at night telling her that her lost baby is alive and another night, she finds her baby's rattle in the mailbox. We hear that a woman's German husband met with abuse from an Australian community because of hard feelings left over from WWI; one night he fled the verbal attacks, grabbed his infant daughter, and rowed out into the sea, never to be seen again. A woman has a vision of her husband rocking their infant (both dead) in a cradle. At gathering, a woman meets the biological mother of a baby that she found and kept years earlier; another woman explains to the first woman that her sister lost her husband and infant as sea four years ago; the first woman becomes upset, and runs to the bathroom where she groans and looks horrified.
 A man tells another man that a lighthouse keeper's wife died two years ago. A man says that a lighthouse keeper threw himself off a cliff (presumably dying). A woman says that she lost both of her brothers in war. A war veteran says that his parents are dead and that his father was so strict that army discipline was easy. A woman tells a detective that she will ask a judge for clemency in a kidnapping-murder case against a man and a woman; the detective says they will only have to pay some fines and serve a few months in jail. A woman speaks to another woman for several seconds and becomes tearful. A man says that frozen mud in France made his feet numb; in a later scene at a gathering he speaks at a podium, saying, "I don't know why God picked me to survive the war." A husband falsifies records to read that his wife had a baby without medical help. A middle-aged man gives a 27-year-old woman a letter of greeting from his deceased wife; the younger woman opens it and a voiceover of the writer says that she is dead now and we hear that the writer promised to stay away from the younger woman after her biological mother regained custody of her. We hear that a man's wife died. A close-up of a baby being baptized includes the baby crying loudly and a flash from a large camera startles the gasping family afterwards.
 We see a few small slimy sea creatures on a beach, including a small black crab, a squirming caterpillar-like animal, and an animal that looks like a trilobite.


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LANGUAGE 1 - About 9 religious exclamations (My God, For Christ's Sake, God Knows, Thank You Lord, "Pray For Me" written in a note, a prayer at each of two weddings, a prayer to save a lost child, a christening prayer in a church).


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SUBSTANCE USE - Glasses of wine are shown on two dinner tables (no one drinks), men and women at a wedding reception drink from glasses of water and a few men hold glasses of amber liquid that may be beer (they do not drink), a man says that an unseen vicar "Is sleeping off the night before," and a man holds a small glass of red wine at home and does not drink. A woman smokes a cigarette at home, and three men smoke pipes at a reception and at a presentation and we see large puffs of smoke in the background each time (we never see a pipe stem in a mouth).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - War, death, loss, sacrifice, responsibility, bigotry toward Germans after WWI, doing the right thing, protection, abandoned infants, infertility, adoption, fate, love, moral dilemmas, determination, honesty, deceit, lying, consequences, forgiveness, acceptance, reconciliation.

MESSAGE - Some people will go to great lengths to protect their families.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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