By Livia Peterson
Whereas Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival” (2016) impeccably examines the language and the art of communication, Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea” thoroughly investigates the life and the death and its effects on the family and the friends – and gradually punches the audience in the gut during the screening. I am still dazzled by “Manchester by the Sea” – as of this writing, despite I witnessed “Office Christmas Party” afterward, mind you. (I recommend that you should not pair the film with a cheerful film in terms of double features.)
The uncle and janitor Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) mourns the brother Joe Chandler (Kyle Chandler) and assigned to be the guardian of Patrick Chandler (Lucas Hedges). Patrick is the son of Randi (Michelle Williams) and Joe. Lee travels from Quincy, Massachusetts to Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts (hence the title) to arrange the funeral and Patrick’s guardianship.
Life is akin to a book. We scribe the book every single day without recognizing the fact. Everyone dreams the happy conclusion as seen in fairytales and Disney movies. Almost every mainstream film utilizes sugarcoating to escape the moviegoers via the reality. “Manchester by the Sea” is fearless in terms of presenting life as it is without the sugarcoat. The Chandler family naturally scribes their diary – the audience witnesses the ups and downs through life and death without hesitation. Yes, “Manchester by the Sea” is able to be mundane to some folks due to it is walk and talk movie with nonexistent action pieces. Nonetheless, some transitions are a tad tedious during the second act.
“Manchester by the Sea” is initially commonplace; however, the empathetic narrative, the brilliant performances, the beautiful production and costume design, and the graceful score guide the film to full circle. You may witness bits of your life onscreen, depending how much the film connects to your personal life. My Grandma Jane died awhile ago and the death deeply affected my family and I. Indeed, it is difficult to arrange and attend the funeral. I still miss Grandma Jane to this day.
Life is worth enduring, regardless of the circumstances. Continue to write the book. Profound and fragile, “Manchester by the Sea” is one of my favorite films during 2016. A
For Your Consideration: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Casey Affleck), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Michelle Williams), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Lucas Hedges), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Cinematography