Why Michael Fassbender is an Early Contender for Oscars 2017

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are both up for Oscars this year, but there’s a good chance that the two actors will find themselves back on the award season circuit in 2017. The first trailer for the pair’s new movie, The Light Between Oceans, has just dropped and the emotionally wrought drama already looks like it could be a strong early contender for next year’s Academy Awards.

Based on M.L. Stedman’s novel of the same name, The Light Between Oceans stars Fassbender as a lighthouse keeper who lives with his wife (Vikander) on a remote Australian island just after World War I. After the couple discovers a boat carrying a young baby girl, they decide to adopt the child and raise her as their own. A few years later, a chance encounter leads them to learn that the girl’s biological mother (Rachel Weisz) is not only alive, but still grieving over the presumed death of her child. Confronted with this shocking realization, the couple is then left to make a life-altering decision.

The film adaptation has been earning buzz for quite some time now, mostly because of its excellent cast. Anytime a movie has multiple Oscar-nominated actors on board, it’s hard not to sit up and take notice. But the film boasts an equally strong creative team behind the scenes as well, specifically director Derek Cianfrance.

Cianfrance has proven he has a penchant for creating intimate and heart-shattering dramas over the last few years. He made a powerful debut with 2010’s Blue Valentine, which starred Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and earned the latter an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. He followed that up with the slightly more divisive, but still strong Place Beyond the Pines, also starring Gosling. Now, he’s bringing his touch to the emotionally devastating The Light Between Oceans.

Aside from having a critically acclaimed director and a superb cast, the film also has an excellent cinematographer in Adam Arkapaw, who is best known for his work on the miniseries, True Detective and Top of the Lake. Arkapaw also previously worked with Fassbender on last year’s visually stunning Macbeth.

From the looks of the trailer, viewers can expect plenty of lovely imagery in The Light Between Oceans. The film’s sweeping seaside vistas act as almost a supporting character in the teaser, providing the perfect (not to mention, symbolic) backdrop for the family’s emotional turmoil.

For Fassbender and Vikander, The Light Between Oceans is just the latest in their increasingly jam-packed schedules of upcoming projects. Fassbender, who is currently up for an Oscar for Best Actor for Steve Jobs, has a slew of high-profile films on the way, including the highly anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse, the adaptation of Assassin’s Creed, and next year’s Alien: Covenant.

As one of Hollywood’s newest in-demand stars and a current Best Supporting Actress nominee for The Danish Girl, Vikander is also staying plenty busy, co-starring opposite Matt Damon in this year’s Jason Bourne. She’ll also star in next year’s romance drama, Submergence.

While both actors have plenty of exciting projects in the works, The Light Between Oceans is certainly one of the ones you won’t want to miss. Between the strong creative team, the A-list cast, and the dramatic storyline, it’s a safe bet that the film will be a part of the award season conversation next year.

The Light Between Oceans is currently scheduled to hit theaters on September 2.

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