Oscar Watch: The Light Between Oceans

Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans sure looked like an Oscar contender on paper, but things change quickly in the busy awards derby. Based on a bestselling novel and starring a trio of Oscar winners and nominees, the period piece romance opens Friday. Frankly, I thought it was a bit curious that reviews were embargoed until yesterday.

Now we may know why. Sitting at a so-so 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, many critics haven’t been kind to it. Cianfrance has experienced raves throughout his directorial career with 2010’s Blue Valentine and 2013’s The Place Beyond the Pines (neither received Academy attention, however).

Critics have been gentler with the performers, with Rachel Weisz especially being singled out. She remains a contender in Supporting Actress – albeit a long shot. Fassbender and Vikander appear to be out of the running, as do nods for Picture or Director. Its best chance at recognition probably goes to its composer, Alexandre Desplat. It would mark his ninth nomination.

While La La Land gave us a surefire autumn contender this week, The Light Between Oceans presented quite the opposite.

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