Book v Film: Tulip Fever

“The world is chaotic. All artists know this, but they try to make sense of it. Sophia has made sense of it for him. She has stitched it together like the most beautiful cloak. Her love has sewn it together and they can wrap it around themselves and be safe from the world. Nobody can reach them.”

Directed by Justin Chadwick and based on the book by Deborah Moggach, Tulip Fever is set in 1630s Amsterdam ablaze with tulip fever, and follows a wealthy merchant, Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz), and his young and beautiful wife, Sophia (Alicia Vikander), the woman he hopes will bring him the joy that not even his considerable fortune can buy, an heir. But so far, Sophia has failed to produce one. In a bid for immortality, he commissions a portrait of them both by the talented young painter Jan van Loos (Dane DeHaan). But as Van Loos begins to capture Sophia’s likeness on canvas, a slow passion begins to burn between the beautiful young wife and the talented artist.

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Film Review: The Light Between Oceans

Based on M.L. Stedman‘s 2012 debut novel and directed by Derek Cianfrance, The Light Between Oceans follows war veteran Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), who returns home to Western Australia after fighting in the western trenches of World War I in Europe. After meeting and quickly falling in love with the young Isabel (Alicia Vikander), the newly married couple move to an isolated island where Tom maintains the upkeep of a working lighthouse, and Isabel gets used to married life away from her family. But as Tom struggles with his numb emotions from serving in the war, and after the heartache of not being able to start a family of their own, the couple rescue a baby girl who has washed up on an adrift rowboat.

Believing their prayers may have finally been answered, Isabel encourages Tom to informally adopt her as their own but, as a man of principle, Tom is torn between reporting the lost child and pleasing the woman he loves. Against his better judgement, he agrees to let Isabel keep the child, naming her Lucy and informing their families that she is their own. But when Tom and Isabel return to the mainland a few years later, they soon discover that their actions may have had devastating consequences for the lives of others.

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Book v Film: The Light Between Oceans

“There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory. Isabel is part of him, wherever she is, just like the war and the light and the ocean. Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone. He watches the ocean surrender to the night, knowing that the light will reappear.”

Based on M.L. Stedman‘s 2012 debut novel and directed by Derek Cianfrance, The Light Between Oceans follows war veteran Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), who returns home to Western Australia after fighting in the western trenches of World War I in Europe. After meeting and quickly falling in love with the young Isabel (Alicia Vikander), the newly married couple move to an isolated island where Tom maintains the upkeep of a working lighthouse, and Isabel gets used to married life away from her family. But as Tom struggles with his numb emotions from serving in the war, and after the heartache of not being able to start a family of their own, the couple rescue a baby girl who has washed up on an adrift rowboat.

Believing their prayers may have finally been answered, Isabel encourages Tom to informally adopt her as their own but, as a man of principle, Tom is torn between reporting the lost child and pleasing the woman he loves. Against his better judgment, he agrees to let Isabel keep the child, naming her Lucy and informing their families that she is their own. But when Tom and Isabel return to the mainland a few years later, they soon discover that their actions may have had devastating consequences for the lives of others.

Continue reading “Book v Film: The Light Between Oceans”

You Should Be Reading: The Light Between Oceans

“There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory. Isabel is part of him, wherever she is, just like the war and the light and the ocean. Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone. He watches the ocean surrender to the night, knowing that the light will reappear.”

The Light Between Oceans is a 2012 debut novel by M.L. Stedman, which follows war veteran Tom Sherbourne, who returns home to Western Australia after fighting in the western trenches of World War I in Europe. After meeting and quickly falling in love with the young Isabel, the newly married couple move to an isolated island where Tom maintains the upkeep of a working lighthouse, and Isabel gets used to married life away from her family. But as Tom struggles with his numb emotions from serving in the war, and after the heartache of not being able to start a family of their own, the couple rescue a baby girl who has washed up on an adrift rowboat.

Continue reading “You Should Be Reading: The Light Between Oceans”

Film Review: The Danish Girl

Based on David Ebershoff‘s fictional novel of the same name, The Danish Girl is loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). Directed by Tom Hooper, the film follows a fictitious love story centred around Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer, being one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery. As we follow Einar’s transformation into Lili, as he begins to find his true self, how will his marriage with Gerda and their artistic work proceed?

Rating:

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Film Review: Ex Machina

Written and directed by Alex Garland, Ex Machina follows a young programmer at an internet-search giant, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), who is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence, at the private mountain estate of the company’s reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Caleb has been chosen to be the human component in a Turing Test, where he must evaluate the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment, Ava (Alicia Vikander).

Rating:

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DVD Review: Anna Karenina

Rating:

Directed by Joe Wright and the twelfth adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s 1877 novel of the same name in total, Anna Karenina is set in late-19th-century Russia and follows socialite Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) who, married to the passionless government official Alexei (Jude Law), journeys to Moscow to visit her philandering brother Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen) to help save his marriage to Dolly (Kelly Macdonald). Exploring the capacity for love that surges through the human heart, the film follows Anna’s affair with the affluent Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), as well as the relationship between Oblonsky’s best friend Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) and Dolly’s younger sister Kitty (Alicia Vikander).

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