Front Row at the Movies
“The Light Between Oceans”
Echoes a Previous “Ocean” Film
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Melania Trump may have “borrowed” from Michelle Obama’s speech … but Hollywood does it all the time.
Take the new film “The Light Between Oceans.” It’s playing this week at Tropic Cinema. Other than the lighthouse setting, the film may bring on a case of déjà vu.
Go back and watch “The Deep End of the Ocean,” the 1999 tearjerker starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
Does it seem familiar?
In “The Light Between Oceans” a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his lonely wife (Alicia Vikander) find a baby adrift in a small lifeboat. Of course, they adopt the child as their own. Years later, on a trip to the mainland, the coast of Western Australia, they meet a woman (Rachel Weisz) who lost her husband and baby daughter to a kidnapping. Get out your hankies.
Now compare that with the other “Ocean” movie. A couple (Michelle Pfeiffer and Treat Williams) lost their young son to a kidnapping. But years later, after moving to a new neighborhood, they find him living with another family.
Both films have their claim to originality, being based on separate books.
“The Deep End of the Ocean” was a best-selling novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard. It was the first selection for Oprah’s Book Club on September 17, 1996. A prolific writer, Mitchard has published 9 other novels.
“The Light Between Oceans” was the debut novel by M. L. Stedman. Published in 2012, it was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, an annual prize for the “novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases.”
Coincidence or not, each book stands on its own. Besides, even Shakespeare borrowed plots from other works.