Writer: Kenneth Lonergan (Screenplay)
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, CJ Wilson, Tata Donovan, Matthew Broderick, Gretchen Mol, Heather Burns, Stephen Henderson
Plot: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Casey Affleck’s Powerhouse Performance
Story: Manchester by the Sea starts as we meet Lee Chandler (Affleck) handyman for apartment complexes. He lives a very isolated life that he is happy with but when he gets a phone call he needs to leave town after his brother Joe (Chandler) suffers a heart attack.
Lee needs to return to Manchester to tell Patrick (Hedges) what has happened to his father but returning to Manchester means memories of his ex-wife Randi (Williams) and daughters Suzy (Dixon) and Karen.
Lee’s life is turned upside when he learns Joe’s will leaves him as the guardian to Patrick with enough money to re-locate in Manchester the town he had left all those years ago, Lee must figure out what to do and what is best for Patrick.
Thoughts on Manchester by the Sea
Story – The story is a simple follow showing how one man must face his past to help his family, a past he never wanted to go back to. This comes off like an everyday family having to deal with what happened which is great to see because we support them through their struggles. This is a story you will need to be in the right frame of mind to see but if you do you will be rewarded.
Characters/Performance – Lee is such a brilliant character who has his own demons while having to face a new life with his nephew, he keeps to himself to himself but facing these demons on poses a challenge in his life. Patrick is a teenager who does think he is better than the other students and hates his Uncle but is mostly reacting to what has happened with his father. The rest of the characters are all part of the past and present of these two. Casey Affleck does give a career best performance that is so withdrawn from the world the other characters are living, while Lucas Hedges shines next to Affleck with ease. All the other performances are great throughout.
Settings – The settings in this film make you fully believe that this is just a normal family that has been struggling with problems in everyday life which is very important through this film.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the hardest watches of the year, the story is not going to be for everyone. I will be saying you should be watching if you are a film lover.
Overall: Outstanding drama that keeps everything very simple for the characters involved with a powerhouse performance.