Movie Review: Manchester by the Sea (2016)

  Today I braved the cold, snowy winter day to see Manchester by the Sea. I have been looking forward to it since I saw the first snippet about it. Of course, I love Casey Affleck so any chance to see him on the big screen is a chance I am willing to take. I give this movie the rating: Must See Film.

Manchester by the Sea stars Casey Affleck and Kyle Chandler

  The movie is about a family dealing with the recent death of brother and father, Joe Chandler (Kyle Chandler). Lee Chandler (Affleck) learns he is given custody of his sixteen year old nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges).

  The performances in this movie are phenomenal and complex. Affleck’s character carries a lot of emotional burden. His body language as he quietly deals with the guilt he feels from the deaths of his three very young children years ago to trying to make every situation he is handed work makes Lee a very real, invested character. The whole movie I felt for his losses. Half of the film my eyes were teary. I know there have been nominations for his portrayal. I hope some of them pull through. This performance is probably my very favorite of this year.

Some amazing performances

Kyle Chandler’s performance as older brother Joe is effective in showing him as the new patriarch of the family. While he does not exactly have a lot of screen time it is clear he holds them all together and takes care of them. It is also clear that sometimes his relationship with Lee is a little strained but it is obvious he tries to make situations as easy as possible on him. Since I saw Shutter Island I have become a fan of Michelle Williams. She plays Lee’s ex-wife Randi. She also does not have a lot of screen time but fills out her character well.

  It is no secret that I enjoy sad movies about slightly (or not so slightly) dysfunctional families. This movie fits the bill. The film runs about two hours but the story is not drug out in any way- every minute builds upon the story. I also appreciate that the story could happen to anyone. The cast are all everyday people.

  With the organic storyline and great characters, Manchester by the Sea is making it’s way to my top movies of 2016. I have a feeling this movie will not be in the theaters for much longer as it has already been pushed to one of the smaller screening rooms at my local theater. As always I suggest seeing this on the big screen but if you have to wait for home viewing it will be totally worth it.

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