Manchester By The Sea is absolutely one of the most depressing movies you’ll this year. It will drag you through tragedy, depression while sprinkling a few glimmers of hope.
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Lucas Hedges
Manchester By The Sea tells the story of Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), a loner living in Boston. Lee is forced to move back to his hometown to attend to the death of his estranged brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler). Lee is the only adult relative of Joe and it is up Lee to not only plan all of the arrangements of the funeral, but also act as temporary guardian to his teenage nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Lee is not the social type and he finds it almost impossible to maintain any kind of a relationship because of his drinking and his past.
Manchester By The Sea follows Lee as he figures out what to do with his nephew. Lee is adamant about not being his guardian and just as adamant about Patrick not going back to his birth mother, Elise (Gretchen Mol). The history of the Chandler family is told in flashbacks.
Clearly, the goal of this film is to rip your heart out. Casey Affleck is perfect as the loner, who’s past has shut himself off from the world. He plays guilt and self-loathing with ease. Lucas Hedges has great range having to play the angst-ridden teen, who has no relative left other than his non-communicative uncle.
There’s no better way to put it than Manchester By The Sea is a film that punches you in the face, in the guts and just keeps on punching. It’s clear in this movie about tragedy, that over the course of the film, you will find out why Lee Chandler is a loner with no hope for a future and what happened to his happy life and his three super cute and adorable children.
Let’s also not forget that the tragic flashbacks overlay the films central story, which is the death of Patrick’s father and the current whereabouts of his mother, Elise. More sadness for you, the viewer.
Manchester By the Sea is a good movie. But at the same time, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan presents to his audience an emotionally draining movie. There are times, you wish the actors were not so talented and did not play their characters well, because then you would have a moment to detach from the movie and breath. Ultimately, we do connect with the grief and sadness of the main characters, which I guess is the main goal of the film. This is a film you need to prepare yourself to watch.
8 out of 10 stars