Monday, January 23, 2017

Manchester by the Sea will break your heart

Movie Title:    Manchester By The Sea

Grade:  B

Rating: R, 135 minutes

In a Nutshell: Casey Affleck delivers a powerful performance, mastering the art of subtlety. 

He recently won "Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama" by the Golden Globes and has been nominated to receive the Best Leading Actor award by the BAFTA Film Awards.  That does no means end the list of awards this film has garnered.

Was it my favorite movie of 2016?  Definitely not.  Does it deserve some awards.  Yup.  I still think Denzel Washington should have won Best Actor for Fences though...

Uplifting theme: 
  • Family is everything.
  • Guilt, sorrow, grief.
  • I've learned in my life that when someone behaves VERY badly and irrationally, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt because I know they are hurting either physically or emotionally.

Things I liked:
  • I loved the jazz version of “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” in the bar scene towards the beginning of the movie.
  • There is some soft humor to break up the dreary, somber sadness.
  • Kyle Chandler gives the best performance I have seen him give.  He usually seems like he's acting, but he felt "real" in this story.
  • Michelle Williams was fantastic.  The scene where she runs  into Lee Chandler on the street was breathtaking.  I literally stopped breathing while I watched her.  
  • Director and writer Kenneth Lonergan doesn’t talk down to the audience and trusts that you will be able to follow the emotional ride and timeline. 
  • You definitely don’t feel like you’re watching a movie, but rather, real life.  It’s almost like you’re a fly on the wall, watching real people go through some pretty terrible trials. 
  • I love Matthew Broderick in anything, so even though he has a very small role in this film, it was great to see him.

Things I didn’t like:
  • I like movies that allow me to escape the mundane, sadness of the world, but this movie throws you right in the middle of it and assaults you with incredible difficult situations and rough-and-tumble people you wouldn't want to spend a day with.
  • There is a lot of bouncing around from past to present.
  • No family should have to experience such heartache.
  • Some of the music choices seemed mismatched for the scenes.  Most of it sounded like old Catholic music, yet the characters never really embraced their religion to help them through their struggles.  Elise (Gretchen Mol) tried, but was unsuccessful.
  • I hate watching “Playas”…slimy, scumbag guys who sleep with a bunch of different girls.  
  • How naive can parents be to allow their kid to close and lock their bedroom door with someone of the opposite gender inside?  My dad NEVER allowed that. EVER.

Interesting lines:
  • “I can’t beat it.” - Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck)

Funny lines:
  • “I think if you’re going to freak out every time you see a frozen chicken, I think we should go to the hospital. I don’t know anything about this.” – Casey
  • “What happened to your hand?” – Patrick (Lucas Hedges)
“I cut it.” – Casey
“Oh, for a minute there I didn’t know what happened.” – Patrick

Tips for parents: 
  • About a thousand F-bombs and other profanity.
  • Pre-marital relations among teenagers.  There is a lot of discussion about it and you see some teens start to take off their clothes.
  • People getting drunk and behaving badly.
  • This is not a family-friendly movie.  It is a mature character study and look at coping with loss and sorrow.

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