|A story of death, loss and depression, Manchester by the Sea is also an entertaining, eloquently constructed film about hope and moving on. The brilliance of Manchester by the Sea lies in its ability to completely envelope you into its world, and with its universal themes that is rather easily accomplished. It’s a very simple story that it tells, but one that can leave a loving impact on its viewers.||2016 |
Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan
Screenplay by: Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges
It starts in Boston. Lee (Casey Affleck) is a down-on-his-luck handyman for an apartment building; shovelling snow, fixing leaks and changing lightbulbs. This is a very slow-moving Lee, one who doesn’t care to get involved with anybody and spends his nights watching basketball games from the 90s, whenever he’s not getting into random bar fights. It’s not too long before we learn that there’s another side to Lee.
The other main element of the film is the life that Lee is living now compared to the life that he used to live. We get flashbacks to when he was married with kids and having a lot of fun with his brother and nephew. There are a lot of clues about Lee leaving Manchester, and eventually it all comes to a boil. The evolution of his character and everything he has gone through in his life is interesting and extremely well handled by Affleck.
Manchester by the Sea is a very quiet film, but very engaging, and never drags. It is as funny as it is depressing, and beautiful to watch as it all unfolds in the scenic town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. It’s not just Kenneth Lonergan’s best film, but also the best film of the year.