The wife of director Derek Cianfrance, who helmed the forthcoming Michael Fassbender/Alicia Vikander period romance ‘The Light Between Oceans’, has penned an essay slamming critics for giving the film bad reviews.
Shannon Plumb, also a filmmaker. claims that critics breaking the reviews embargo could have cost the movie ‘a couple of million dollars’.
The movie was shown to critics at the Venice Film Festival, and according to Plumb, reviews were embargoed until a few hours before the movie’s premiere.
“But there were five reviews up, one by Variety, and it was two more days till the premiere. The critics had broken the embargo,” she writes.
“The critics are not a voice for the people, yet they can affect the reputation and success of the movie.
“By writing early and with vehemence against ‘The Light Between Oceans’, it probably lost a couple million dollars in its first weekend. The first weekend is still the most important weekend for the movie. It determines the life a movie will have in theaters.”
She added that her husband said ‘I feel like someone stomped on my brain’.
“I truly wondered what was going on. Did these critics have an allergy to vulnerability? Maybe hankies are out of fashion, but what about an emotional cleanse?” she went on.
However, she says that once the curtain came down on the premiere, she wept when the assembled audience appeared to enjoy it more than the critics had.
“I think the movie and the moment triggered the memories of the two years just past. I cried remembering all the hard work and sacrifices made by Derek and his comrades.
“It didn’t matter what the critics said. This room was moved. The audience openly accepted the movie.”
Currently, the film has an average 58% ‘fresh’ rating on reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, meaning just over half the reviews were deemed positive.
In The New Yorker, Anthony Lane wrote: “Stand back from this fable and examine it for logic, and you see how nonsensical it is.”
But even the positive reviews had some caveats, Lindsey Bahr for the Associated Press adding: “The Light Between Oceans is stunning to see, and the performances are of the highest caliber, but it’s all packaged in a story that just doesn’t earn its stay, or our tears.”
Cianfrance – who also wrote the movie, and who came to prominence with the Ryan Gosling movie ‘A Place Beyond The Pines’ – tells the story of Fassbender’s lighthouse keeper and his wife Vikander, who rescue and adopt a child abandoned at sea.
It’s due out in the UK in November.
Image credits: Dreamworks/Getty