Craig's Movie Reviews

I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.

Manchester by the Sea

This and La La Land are big awards contenders this year. Is this one any good?

Manchester by the Sea tells the story of a janitor who has recently lost his older brother and is trying to connect to his nephew for whom he may have to become a legal guardian.


This opening conversation on this boat is actually one of my favourite moments in the film. Too bad it’s revisited a bit too often.

Casey Affleck is the janitor and he’s at the heights of his powers as an actor here. His character must go through so much pain that’s not his fault, but he can’t help blaming himself for.

Lucas Hedges is the nephew. In his first film role, we are witnessing the birth of a heavyweight performer, he’s simply awesome.

Their performances are complemented by a phenomenal script. Conversations are slow, faltered, real. The people these two characters interact with don’t quite know what to do or say to them while they suffer through this experience. This is a script that seems to understand grief.

Unfortunately, this also contributes to the worst offence of this film. 2 hours and 20 minutes is entirely too long for an indie drama on grief. There are sequences that seem to drag in a good way to show the awkwardness of their situation, them there are scenes which drag for no reasons, moments playing out practically in slow motion.

The resolution is also a little off. While I understand the need for no concrete answers to this grief (that part is done great), the logic behind some decisions at the end of the film doesn’t always fit.

The music is also a bit jarring. We appear to have a score of classical music which would be fine if not for the lack of consideration of tone for the tracks in relation to where they come.

Casey Affleck will most likely get an Oscar here, but if you’re really wanting a film that discusses grief that does a better job, go re-watch A Monster Calls.

Recommended Scenario: If you want a talky indie that needs a bit of an edit to be perfect.

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2017 by in Film Review, Released in 2017.
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