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Manchester by the Sea Film Review

Updated on January 25, 2017
Alec Zander profile image

Alec is a film critic with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his reviews and articles will help launch his career.

Manchester By the Sea is one of those rare films that causes the viewers to look within themselves and re-evaluate their lives and by the end, hopefully, find insight into which path to take in life. The film is beautiful, real, heartbreaking, and at times humorous - just like life itself. It hits all the marks and never disappoints.

The film follows Lee Chandler, played by Casey Affleck, who lives a lonely life as a plumber and handyman to the residents of Boston. Life seems like it isn't going anywhere and he just tries to make it through each day one at a time. His life is turned upside down when he gets a call that his brother is in the hospital close to death. He makes the drive to Manchester, only to find that he's arrived too late. Lee stays in his brother's old home until he can figure out the funeral arrangements. Patrick, played by Lucas Hedges, is Lee's nephew and now an orphan. Lee decides to take care of him at least until the arrangements for his brother's burial can be made. Life makes an unexpected turn when Lee's brother's will states that guardianship of Patrick will go to Lee. Lee is distressed, reeling from a past tragedy that causes him to believe he isn't fit to take care of Patrick. Lee must now face his past in order to save Patrick's future.

Casey Affleck performed splendidly, giving one of the best performances of his career. There's one scene in particular in a police station that really sticks with you and really makes you feel what he's going through. Michelle Williams, who plays Lee's ex-wife Randi, may not have but a couple scenes but those scenes are emotionally powerful and really brings out the heartbreak she must have felt when her late husband Heath Ledger passed.

In conclusion, the film is one that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Should it win Best Picture? I wouldn't mind if it did. It relates to everyone on some level or another and never sugarcoats reality. I give it a 4 out of 4.

© 2017 Alec Zander


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