Although some may find Manchester by the Sea boring, I found it to be one of the best films of 2016/2017.
If you have read any of my other reviews, you would know that I greatly admire “movies about nothing.” Manchester by the Sea definitely gives that vibe, but yet it is jam-packed with continuous sorrow and comedy.
The story is character based, and focuses on Casey Affleck’s character named Lee. When we first meet Lee we think he’s normal, just joking around with his nephew. However, after the initial flashback, we see a shell of a man. For the first 30-45 minutes you can’t quite comprehend why he’s changed, and then the backstory is revealed. The audience can finally grasp the pain Lee has been through, and this depressing movie just keeps getting worse.
On the bright side, the humor was fantastic. This is not a funny movie, but the humor does a exemplary job at breaking up the tough moments. The humor isn’t forced or cliche, rather realistic scenarios that everyone can relate to.
As far as individual performances go, Casey Affleck performed as well as I’ve seen in a “somber role.” I could feel his pain with each and every scene, for the most part he didn’t even need to use his words – it was that good. Lucas Hedges also provided a stand out supporting performance. This should be the start of something great with him, the scene with the freezer was powerful. Michelle Williams, the scene with her and Lee was the best scene from 2016, superb on both accounts.
I also found the music to be a perfect fit with the film. No words, just instruments setting the tone. The film was also shot in such a beautiful and noteworthy manner. The scenes of the American-Northeast, specifically the old homes, were stunning.
IMDB has this filmed rated at 8/10. I gave the film a 9/10. I can’t disagree with the 8/10, I think for many it may be too much sorrow. Yet for me, this was a fantastic story about a man’s struggle and him coping with the trials of life. This is a movie I strongly recommend, just be prepared to experience some feelings.
Full IMDB ratings…just in case you can’t wait for a review!