Review: Manchester By the Sea
Manchester by the zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) works as a janitor in Boston and mostly keeps to himself. He doesn't do small talk, he spends a decent amount of time drinking. When his older brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies, he finds himself made the legal guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges) but he's not ready to commit to something that big.
When you go into a movie that you know is going to be a downer, you expect to at least be blown away by the acting and the story. Manchester by the Sea crawls in a perfectly straight line. No ups or down. There's no gigantic epiphany for Lee. He doesn't change in a big way at the end of the film, he simple exists in his sadness. That's what this is. Sometimes terrible things happen, and sometimes you don't get the help to cope.
Affleck is good, but he has two emotions. Drunkingly hyper in his flashbacks, zombie in his present. I kept waiting for a moment where he breaks down and displays some dramatic sorrow but that never happens. He cries for a second with his head down once. Michelle William's gets one of those moments. Actually, she's the only one breathing feeling into this otherwise cold movie. I felt for Randi. She's Lee's ex wife and (you guessed it) terrible things happened to them. Hedges also is allotted a single moment of dramatic acting display, otherwise he's a normal, horny, sarcastic teenager, though some of this quips were welcomed during the film's two hour run time which really felt like four.
I wish I could've loved this movie the way the critics seem to.
Memorable Quote: "Sharks don't swim in schools!" - Young Patrick (Ben O'Brien)