Manchester by the Sea (2016) - SPOILER-FREE Review


Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan

Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, C.J. Wilson

Runtime: 135 min

Kenneth Lonergan directs his own original story with the help of Casey Affleck, who portrays Lee Chandler, a man who lived a very tragic past and he's now his nephew's guardian due to his brother's death.

This is something that he wasn't expecting and a trip to Manchester (by the sea), the city where he was born and raised (and where all of the tragic events happened), makes him go through all of those horrible memories while trying to help his spirited nephew.

Manchester by the Sea is a fantastic movie based on a brilliant script by Kenneth Lonergan. The writing for this film is extremely captivating, unbelievably emotional and heartbreaking, as well as Affleck's character. I was very concerned during the first act because I didn't feel any sort of emotional connection to Lee since all he showed me until then was that he simply hates life and the reasons behind it took a little bit of time to start developing.

However, from the moment the past starts to unfold and everything's clearer, I became totally attached to this character because I truly felt for him. It's such a sad and devastating story that it's impossible for someone not to feel bad for him. Casey Affleck has his career-best performance and a more than deserved Oscar. I never thought this would be a good thing, but he's depressed as hell ... Perfect. That's exactly how his character should feel after everything he's been through. It's the best sad performance I've seen in a long time.

Michelle Williams (Randi) is also brilliant, but I'm super surprised with Lucas Hedges' portrayal of Patrick. Excellent cast, all of them have Oscar-worthy performances and that's also due to the greatly developed characters that they play, so congrats Kenneth for one of the best scripts of 2016. It's extremely captivating, but not due to what usually scripts tend to go. It's one of those stories that stick with you for some days: it's so powerful. Its extreme sadness and horrible tragic events, plus the depressing performances from the cast, just left me completely floored.

However, that's one of my (minor) issues. One problem is the first act's slow pacing that takes its time to develop all of its stories. Still, my main issue has to do with the tone of the movie: it's just too depressing. I know, that's not technically a flaw and you're right, it's not. This is my opinion and the truth is that I will probably never watch this film again because of its extremely high-level of sadness. It shocked me in such a negative way that I simply can't watch again and that's something I always take into consideration when analyzing a movie: do I want to rewatch it? Do I enjoy it so much that I can't wait to experience it again? The answer is definitely no.

Manchester by the Sea is a brilliantly directed and written movie by Kenneth Lonergan, who definitely deserves recognition for his original screenplay and directing skills. Casey Affleck has his best performance ever thanks to a full-bodied character and an excellent script, as well as Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedger who also have amazing Oscar-worthy performances. A slow first act doesn't really bother me, but the devastating, depressing, sad tone that covers the whole film really affects me and I can't possibly see a replay value to it. Still, it's one of the best movies of 2016 and I'm going to give it a ...

|  A+  : 9.3-10 |  A : 8.7-9.2 |  A-  : 8.0-8.6 |  B+  : 7.3-7.9 |  B : 6.7-7.2 |  B-  : 6.0-6.6 ||  C+  : 5.3-5.9 |  C : 4.7-5.2 |  C-  : 4.0-4.6 |  D+  : 3.3-3.9 |  D : 2.7-3.2 |  D-  : 2.0-2.6 |  F : 0-1.9 |

| A+ : 9.3-10 | A: 8.7-9.2 | A- : 8.0-8.6 | B+ : 7.3-7.9 | B: 6.7-7.2 | B- : 6.0-6.6 || C+ : 5.3-5.9 | C: 4.7-5.2 | C- : 4.0-4.6 | D+ : 3.3-3.9 | D: 2.7-3.2 | D- : 2.0-2.6 | F: 0-1.9 |