Canadian Shawn Levy brings Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel to the screen with an ensemble cast including Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie.
All the Light We Cannot See
August 1944, Saint-Malo, France: hiding amid the WWII ruins is a blind girl named Marie-Laure Leblanc (Aria Mia Loberti), who spends her days and nights broadcasting radio stories. Enamoured of the broadcasts is Werner Pfennig (Louis Hofmann; Land of Mine, TIFF ’15), a young, gifted radio technician and Nazi soldier, whose superiors believe that the stories contain secret messages. This sets the stage for Shawn Levy (This Is Where I Leave You, TIFF ’14) and Steven Knight’s riveting mini-series adaptation of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See.
Also present in Saint-Malo is Nazi officer and villainous gemologist Reinhold von Rumpel (Lars Eidinger, My Little Sister). Reinhold’s obsession is a valuable diamond called the Sea of Flames, which was once displayed in the National History Museum. Reinhold believes Daniel, Marie-Laure’s father (Mark Ruffalo; Spotlight, TIFF ’15), a locksmith at the Museum, has left the diamond with her for safekeeping, prior to his arrest by the Nazis. Filling out the list of characters is Etienne, Marie-Laure’s uncle, played wonderfully by Hugh Laurie.
In addition to the incredible cast of emerging and established actors, James Newton Howard’s score amplifies the dramatic and suspenseful cues of this breathtaking historical drama. Perhaps the greatest strength of All the Light We Cannot See is Levy’s fusion of classical visual filmmaking with Doerr’s original story — one of the best onscreen adaptations in recent memory.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival