The Light Between Oceans appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a strong image.
Sharpness was good, as the movie appeared well-defined and concise. Any softness escaped me, as this delivered a precise, tight impression. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. In terms of print issues, no concerns materialized.
Much of the flick stayed with a pretty desaturated set of tones that focused on an amber or gray tone. Within those constraints, the hues were appropriate and well-rendered. Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows showed good clarity. This became a solid “A-” presentation.
I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Light - surprisingly so, given it character orientation. I didn’t expect much from the soundfield, but the seaside setting allowed for a lot of vivid material.
Really, all the sonic power came from the waves and related elements. Those filled the speakers with a lot of information, and the soundscape came together to create a compelling and involving experience.
Non-seaside scenes seemed more limited, but they still conveyed a reasonable sense of setting. Add to that good stereo music and occasional directional dialogue and we get a soundfield with a lot more breadth than I anticipated.
Audio quality satisfied. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music appeared robust and full. Effects were accurate and dynamic. Low-end response showed good thump and richness. Stronger than I anticipated, the audio merited a “B+”.
As we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from writer/director Derek Cianfrance and film studies Professor Phil Solomon. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at cinematography and visual design, story/character areas, sets and locations, cast and performances, sound design, editing, music and connected domains.
Through this chat, we get a reasonable amount of information about the film, but I think the track never goes as deep as it should. Solomon was Cianfrance’s teacher, and the professor often acts as little more than a cheering section for the filmmaker. While we still find a decent look at the movie, the discussion lacks a lot of substance.
Two featurettes follow. Bringing The Light to Life runs 16 minutes, 47 seconds and includes comments from Cianfrance, producers Jeffrey Clifford and David Heyman, executive producer Rosie Alison, and actors Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz. “Life” examines sets and locations, cast and performances, Cianfrance’s directorial approach, and story and characters. “Life” manages to become a reasonably good look at its topics.
Lighthouse Keeper goes for five minutes, 40 seconds and features Cianfrance, Clifford, Vikander, Heyman, Fassbender, lighthouse keeper Ron Sword, and supervising location manager Jared Connon. The piece tells us a little more about the movie’s main location along with facts about lighthouse keeping. It’s a short but efficient show.
As a family drama, The Light Between Oceans fails to develop much intensity or intrigue. The film tends to plod as it lacks the character or narrative development it needs. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture and surprisingly active audio along with decent supplements. Despite the efforts of a good cast, Light becomes a snoozer.