Manchester By The Sea
This film will likely be an Academy Award favorite with exceptional acting and a poignant story to make its case for Oscar glory. That said, it is not an uplifting cinematic experience. Rather, it examines the fragile nature of human loss and guilt as experienced by “regular” people. In this case, it is through the eyes of Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck . . . Ben’s brother) who is forced to take care of his teenage nephew following the death of his older brother. Already burdened by his own family tragedy and the resultant dissolution of his marriage to Randi (Michelle Williams) he has a lot on his plate and is barely keeping afloat as it is. The story unfolds slowly (a bit too slowly) but the Massachusetts scenery and the dynamic between Lee and his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges) moves things along well. There are moment of laughter and all the actors are absolutely pitch-perfect. Director/Writer Kenneth Lonergan will almost certainly be nominated for his work here, extracting exceptional performances from this fine cast.
Women will likely love this movie more than most guys. It is weighty, character-driven, and leaves you feeling melancholy but knowing that you’ve seen something special.