Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, the so-hot-right-now stars that will soon be headlining their own video game adaptations in Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider, play two tortured souls in the latest trailer for Derek Cianfrance’s Oscar hopeful, The Light Between Oceans.
Taking up residence on a remote island off the coast of Australia, Fassbender and Vikander’s couple Tom and Isabel live in a state of relative bliss, though cracks begin to spread across their iron-clad relationship as their hopes of raising a child are quickly dashed by a stillborn and numerous miscarriages.
Thinking their prayers have been answered, a rickety boat washes up on shore carrying the body of a dead man and a vulnerable baby girl. Rushing to her aid, the pair decide to raise the child as their own, though a chance meeting with her true mother – played by Rachel Weisz – acts as a stern reality check.
Based on ML Stedman’s tragic novel, here’s the synopsis of Tom and Isabel’s plight:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
Landing an awards-friendly fall release date, expect Cianfrance’s period drama to tug at those heartstrings when The Light Between Oceans makes shore on September 2. Before that, Fassbender will be lining up against the Mutants in X-Men: Apocalypse later this month, while Vikander joins the likes of Matt Damon and Tommy Lee Jones for Universal’s revival of Jason Bourne.