The Light Between Oceans

Synopsis: A war weary man takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on an island for the solitude. He meets a beautiful young woman and they eventually marry. One day they see a small dingy with an infant and man inside floating in the ocean. They rush to rescue them only to find the man is dead. They struggle over the decision to report it and whether to keep the baby. It's only years later that they discover that the child still has a mother looking for her.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Derek Cianfrance
Production: Dreamworks Pictures
  1 win & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
133 min


I'm just looking to get

away from things for a little while.


it's no paradise out on that island.

Just want to make sure

you know what you're in for.

All due respect, Mr. Coughlan,

it's not likely to be tougher

than the Western Front.

Oh, you're probably right about that.

You pay your own passage

to every posting.

You're a relief worker

so you don't get holidays.

I understand you're a single man.

No family.

So, that's a slight concern.

Wouldn't normally send

a single man to Janus.

It's pretty remote

and wife and family

can be a great practical help,

not just a comfort.

But, seeing it's only temporary,

you leave for Port Partageuse

in two days.

From there you'll be

shipped off to Janus.

Welcome to Commonwealth

Lighthouse Service.

Proud to have a man

who served our country

with such distinction amongst our ranks.

Ah! Mr. Sherbourne, right on time.

Come in, do.

Thank you very much.

Welcome to Partageuse.

Let me introduce you.

This'll probably be

the guest of honor.

This is Mr. Tom Sherbourne,

our new lightkeeper.

How do you do?

Cyril and Bertha Chipper.

How lovely to meet you.

Uh, Bill Graysmark.

- His wife, Violet...

- How do you do?

- And their daughter...

- How do you do?

Oh, she's around here

somewhere. Well...

Mr. Sherbourne, can I tempt you?

Thank you very much.

Oh, Tom, that lighthouse of yours

will be guiding ships

on the Northern Hemisphere

bringing wealth and prosperity

to our land.

God knows we need it after this war.

It's been costly enough

in more ways than one, eh?


You think you're up for it?

We'll soon find out.

Oh, please.

The last thing the poor man needs

are your tales of doom and gloom.

Told you she'd turn up.

This is Isabel Graysmark.

Isabel, meet Mr. Sherbourne.

Pleasure to meet you,

Mr. Sherbourne.

Ms. Graysmark.

Janus isn't

a particularly popular posting.

You'll be the only living man

for a good part of

100 miles in any direction.

I don't suppose they told you

why the position became available?

Temporarily available.

Trimble will be back,

and good as new in six months.

Just needs a bit of

recuperation time, that's all.

- Is that all?

- Uh...

Did they inform you,

Mr. Sherbourne?

I don't believe anyone told me

about the specifics.

Doesn't surprise me.

Trimble Docherty

worked the light for nearly six years.

Without incident!

- Without incident.

- Mmm.

Then he caused a stir

when he reported that his wife has been

signaling the passing ships.

Unacceptable, of course,

and for two reasons.

Signaling passing ships

had long been forbidden precisely...

Obviously, he knows that.

What was the other reason?

His wife has been dead for two years.

Simple case of cabin fever

plus a dose of grief, that's all.

Mr. Sherbourne

should have been informed.

Long before he signed

on the dotted line.

I certainly appreciate

your telling me.

And I hope Trimble

recovers from whatever is ailing him.

As for the isolation,

I feel I'm prepared for it.

In fact, after France,

the idea of a little time alone,

I welcome it.

Hear, hear.

Well said, Mr. Sherbourne.

Well said. Here's to the future.

- To the future.

- To the future.

We wish you all the best.

All the best.

- All the best.

- All the best.

Please look us up

next time you're coming back through.

Been a pleasure meeting you all.

I think he was

a very impressive young man.

Oh, yes.

Well, he's just come home...

Too late

to change your mind now, son.

Six months is nothing!

If you're not trying to hold your breath.

Goodbye, Tom.

Well done, Sherbourne.

You look as fit and well

after three months

as any keeper I've seen.


Didn't expect to see you so soon.

Where's Trimble?

Hasluck wants to talk to you

about that on shore.

Tom, thank you for coming.

Now, you'll probably wonder

why we called you here.

We all thought

Trimble was on the way

to a swift recovery.

But, he threw himself over

the cliff-face at Albany.

We haven't bothered to look elsewhere

to fill the position.

You've proved yourself

more than capable

and we'd like to offer you

a three year contract on the post.

We're confident you won't let us down.

Mr. Sherbourne.

What a pleasant surprise!

Good afternoon.

I thought you were on your island.

Uh, Captain Hasluck offered me a job.

More of a permanent type post.

How wonderful.

I want to hear all about it.

Won't you stay for lunch?

That'd be very nice.

Thank you.

You must have really

impressed the Commonwealth.

Offering you the post

after only three months.

I doubt there were

many vying for the job.

Not a lot of men

on the market these days.

Unfortunately, you're right, sir.

How long till you have to go back?

Couple of days.

What are your plans?

I'm sure there are a lot of details

that he has to tidy up

before he ships off.

He's offered to take me

on a picnic tomorrow.

Oh, what a nice idea.

- Picnic?

- Yes.


I think that's wonderful.

What's it like out there?

It's quiet.

There's time to think.

You get lonely?

Too busy. There's always

something that needs fixing.

You like it?

You don't actually talk a lot, do you?

Do you ask out all the light keepers

that go out to Janus?


You're the first new one in years.

I can tell you lots about me.

My mom taught me the piano.

You still play?

Not that well.

My brothers used to

tease me awfully when I played.

Rate this script:3.7 / 3 votes

Derek Cianfrance

Derek M. Cianfrance (; born January 1974) is an American film director, cinematographer, screenwriter, and editor. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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