There are a lot of great things about ‘Manchester By The Sea,’ and I will get to that in a minute, but for me the one great thing that resonated to me about the film is how it represented grief – how it eats you, make you do irrational things. It shows you how you look for answers when you don’t necessarily know or understand the questions. Cassey Affleck, plays Lee, who gets summoned to his hometown of Manchester after his brother passes. This adds turmoil to a life already broken, and to add complications, he is appointed guardian to his teenage nephew, Patrick. About halfway through the film, we find out the cause for Lee’s demons, and I have to say it is one of the most single heartbreaking scenes I have ever seen in the movies. And teh Director and Writer Kenneth Lonergan never goes for the obvious. I could just imagine the wrong way this could have gone with a director more concerned about feeling good than feeling real.
‘Manchester By The Sea’ is a film made up of little moments that represent life. In some ways, it seems like a reality show, in the strictest term, wherein we get a real peek at these people, as triumphs and tragedies affect them. Affleck is fantastic here, an actor so in tune with his character, his plight so real, his heart so pungent that I think if I ever saw him in person I might give him a hug and tell him everything will be okay. And in a star making performance, Lucas Hedges (as Patrick) is embodiment of the smart aleck teenager haunted by pain and loss. Their scenes together are hilarious – their banter so effortless – that you realize you are laughing as you realize you are already weeping. Ans Michele Williams – truly one of the greatest young actresses working nowadays – slayed me in one scene that I think i will forever by haunted by that image.
As great as the film, though, I don’t know if I could ever watch it again. The pain feels so real here that it made me feel about my own the pain – the one i have lived with and tried to deal with for years now. As I was leaving the cinema at tonight’s screening, a woman was talking to her friend, saying ‘It’s so sad, but it’s real.” You know what, I hear ya gurl.