Do you ever watch movies that you really want to like because you know that they’re supposed to be phenomenal, but you watch them and don’t quite get it? That’s kind of how I feel about Manchester by the Sea. The key word here being kind of. Don’t get me wrong Manchester by the Sea is a great movie, but I feel like there was too much hype around it and how its supposed to be SUCH a sad movie, it kind of maybe let me down, slightly. I cried way more in Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge, and they were like watching Mean Girls in comparison to this. It was sad for sure, and I definitely shed a tear or two, but it didn’t bring out the emotions I was hoping for.
As I say in all my movie reviews: 1. I know nothing about movies and its very likely, almost certain that I just don’t know enough quite yet to fully appreciate it. Also 2. I was somewhat distracted by the gentleman sitting next to me and his popcorn eating technique. He would take a handful, wipe his leg, then repeat. He never broke this habit once. Hell it was a movie in its own.
Manchester by the Sea tells the story of Lee Chandler (played by Casey Affleck), who is a quiet loner who has to return to his hometown (Manchester by the Sea) after word that his brother has passed away. (Don’t worry this is not a spoiler, I feel like the trailer gives this away). Lee is left to deal with all the struggles and work that comes with a death in the family, one of the struggles being taking care of his teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). I want to say that while watching it I thought to myself that its rather a simple story, which is something I really liked about this movie. It really shows the struggle and all of the emotions that come along with death. I also liked that through all of the drama and hardships, the movie had moments of laughter, which I think is a compliment to Lucas Hedges acting. He really did a great job playing his character. Actually, everyone played to their characters very well. Michelle Williams (who was not in the movie nearly as much as I had hoped for) had a few powerful scenes and had her Boston accent down to a tee. Casey Affleck (who is apparently the front runner for the Academy Awards), also played his character well, showcasing Lee’s reserved, quiet side. I don’t really think he’s my top choice for Best Actor, but hey he did a good job for sure, so props if he ends up with the top prize.
All in all, Manchester by the Sea was good. Actually as I sit here and the more I type the more I begin to appreciate it more. It had a very quiet and simple tone to it, which made it kind of a beautiful movie to watch, if that makes sense. I think this may be a movie that I have to watch a couple more times then a lightbulb will go off in my head and it will all make sense, and I will rave and rave about it. For now though, Manchester by the Sea stands as a good movie. Is it my choice for Best Picture? No. But what do I know?!
Thanks for reading!
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That Awkward Gal