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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 25 Most Anticipated Studio Films of 2015: #3. Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

Director Derek Cianfrance // Writers: Derek Cianfrance, M.L. Stedman

Derek Cianfrance surfaced to the forefront of the best new American directors with his 2010 film Blue Valentine, which saw him swiftly reunite with Ryan Gosling for a slow-burning crime saga The Place Beyond the Pines in 2012. His fourth feature, The Light Between Oceans, is an adaptation of the bestselling and critically acclaimed novel by M.L. Stedman. We’re curious to see what Cianfrance does with such a hot commodity, as Dreamworks snapped up the rights back in 2012. He was able to amass an exciting cast, with Michael Fassbender and leading ladies Rachel Weisz and Swedish beauty Alicia Vikander (last seen in Anna Karenina and The Fifth Estate, but due for a fantastic 2015 with seven or eight new releases due to hit theaters). The tale concerns a lighthouse keeper that survived the ravages of WWI, living on the remote Janus Rock in Australia with his young wife. Unable to conceive, they discover after several tragic tries, they rescue a baby infant in a boat and are tempted to keep it as their own.

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz

Producers: Jeffrey Clifford (Up in the Air), David Heyman (Gravity)

U.S. Distributor: Touchstone Pictures

Release Date: We’re assuming that Touchstone will want to consider a Fall festival circuit premiere at either TIFF, NYFF or AFI.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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