24 February 2017

Wonderful

"Manchester by the Sea". What a wonderful film! Shirley and I went to see it as Storm Doris was arriving from the west. It was nice to be sitting snugly in a dark cinema as Kenneth Lonergan's masterpiece unfolded upon the silver screen and bad weather marauded outside.

The cinematography and the varied musical soundtrack were both brilliant - enhancing a painful story of loss and recovery. The central character is Lee Chandler played by Casey Affleck who bears a weight of sorrow. He had escaped Manchester to get a humble job as a janitor and handyman in a Boston apartment block. But initially the audience has no idea what brought him to this juncture. It takes a while for this to be revealed.

He is called back to Manchester by the Sea following the sudden death of his older brother, Joe. To Lee Chandler's horror his brother had  chosen him to be the guardian of his nephew - sixteen year old Patrick played by Lucas Hedges. Gradually learning to embrace this responsibility, Lee begins to claw his way out of the emotional hollow in which he has been residing.

Kenneth Lonergan has a short cameo role - rather like Alfred Hitchcock. He witnesses Chandler berating his nephew in the street and grumbles under his breath, "great parenting!" which causes Chandler to fly off the handle again.

I don't want to give too much of the plot away in case you get to see the film yourself. Suffice to say that as we emerged from the darkness of Screen Two, we encountered a couple we know and I was asked how I would score "Manchester by the Sea" out of ten. I replied, "Nine and a half" but on reflection perhaps I should have said ten. 

Casey Affleck added subtle depths to his troubled role. He was often brooding, angry, self-absorbed, guilty or  wounded - endowing the role of Lee Chandler with human vulnerability and confusion. If he doesn't win the "best actor" award at this weekend's Oscars then something is terribly amiss.

15 comments:

  1. "Marauding" weather - what a good description of a storm.

    A thorough and interesting review, without giving too much away - I give it nine and a half out of ten.

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    1. What? My review? Ye ckeeky monkey!

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  2. I went to the movies for the first time in years last week.. .to see Lion. And I remembered why I always wait to see films at home. It was much too loud, and a trip to the restroom makes me feel awful about having to pass by other seated moviegoers to get there! And it's crazy expensive. This film sounds very good, but I'll wait to see it.

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    1. For two tickets Shirley and I paid a total of $16. I don't think that's bad and if I needed to use the lavatory I would go beforehand. I love to see films on the big screen in darkness with no distraction.

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    2. Ah, but I can't last through a whole movie without needing to pee. My bladder is the size of a walnut, apparently. Haha!

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  3. I'm looking forward to seeing this movie. The reviews I've read about it all have been glowing. Yours doesn't disappoint.

    I know Michelle Williams' role, her time in the movie, is only brief, but from all account she is also brilliant. I expect nothing less from her. I'm a huge fan of Michelle Williams. She probably is my favourite actress around these days and I will watch any movie she is in.

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    1. I agree. She is a fine film actress. In this film her role is small but significant and there's one especially touching scene towards the end. You feel her pain.

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  4. sounds good but will I remember the name well enough to seek out the movie?
    I love to watch movies at home but nothing beats the total escape of the cinema

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    1. Write it down Kylie. Then when it arrives, draw the curtains and get some popcorn.

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  5. I agree with you YP. I saw this film in the week and loved it...such a wonderful portrayal of ordinary people whose lives have encountered such hurt. Casey Affleck is always good and I do hope he wins the Oscar.

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  6. I'm with you. I loved this movie, too.

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    1. It is so nice to emerge from a film with no niggles or criticisms, having been totally engrossed.

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  7. I like the sound of that film, YP, but it probably won't reach us here in Sweden for a while. We have a filmclub and we can make wishes for the next season. Latest film I saw was Hidden figures, a colourful story about three ladies working for Nasa in the sixties when John Glenn wanted to hit the moon. In this film, this man, is he related in away with Ben Affleck?? It was a ten out of ten review, I'd say!

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  8. We saw the movie at home (DVD]and really liked it. Our daughter also rented it and did not like it, said it was depressing. I found it unusually moving, even cried at one point which is something I rarely do when watching a movie.
    Sarah in soon-to-be-rainy California

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