Manchester By the Sea – Film Review

Manchester By the Sea is classic filmmaking. A simple story about a tragic event and the reflection of those events slowly told throughout the picture. The character development is very strong. I feel that this is a better actor showcase than it being a film. The performances by Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams are extremely powerful. There is just so much heartbreak in their tone of how the portray the characters which makes you think on what those actors had to do in order to go to such a dark place and still be stable when the camera’s aren’t on.

This film felt very authentic to the setting of Massachusetts in New England. The location and cinematography was incredibly strong. I felt like I could feel the temperature of the outside in being below freezing as the characters mentioned numerous times. I appreciated the pacing of the film. It took its time to tell the story. Though some of the scenes felt a little long, it did feel intentional to give weight to character moments.

I said a lot of terrible things to you. My heart was broken, and I know yours is broken, too.

Some of the negatives of the film is that I felt the conclusion was not very finite. I felt it was very muddled and unclear. Though there were decisions made, I felt that the ending didn’t end the way I thought it was going to go. I did appreciate the realism of the situation. The relationships felt heart wrenching. Kyle Chandler as the brother who passes away in the film does a good job in his supporting role. Lucas Hedges as the son who is orphaned put on a strong performance. He was very believable. I did feel like they did make his character unlikeable at points.

Overall the film is important and though I don’t feel it has a good rewatchability factor — I would say it is worth rewatching later on down the line to see the subtle references they put in it to get a greater understanding of Casey Affleck’s character’s mindset from the beginning. I definitely think that Casey will end up with Best Actor at the Oscar’s this year.


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