The Light Between Oceans – BBC2

Michael Fassbender stars as a shell-shocked lighthouse keeper in this well-acted weepie

Michael Fassbender stars as a shell-shocked lighthouse keeper in this well-acted weepie.

On a remote island off the coast of Western Australia in the aftermath of World War One, he and his wife (Alicia Vikander) make a fateful decision after a rowboat holding a dead man and a live baby washes ashore.

Based on ML Stedman’s best-selling novel, this old-fashioned tearjerker boasts lush photography, a sweeping score and a stellar cast.

However, its determined assault on the tear ducts is not as moving as it should be, hampered by the melodramatic and manipulative contrivances and symbol-laden setting, suggestive of rocky loneliness and storm-tossed emotions.

Still, Fassbender and Vikander’s combined screen charisma could easily power the lighthouse by itself and Rachel Weisz does a terrific job, too, as the baby’s tormented biological mother, the third part of the story’s dramatic triangle.

This film starts at 10.10pm on BBC2 Wales.