Manchester by the Sea (Mini-Review)


My wife and I, along with two of our good friends, recently saw the critically acclaimed film Manchester by the Sea in one of those deluxe movie theaters with reclining leather seats and a bar. While I prefer to be sober when watching a movie, perhaps I should have made an exception and go to my friend, Samuel Adams. 

Kenneth Lonergan’s award winning drama is a superbly told story that is very well acted. However, it piles on a thick layer of depression that doesn’t let up. Casey Affleck’s performance as Lee Chandler packs an emotional punch that is felt long after the end credits roll.

Lucas Hedges knocked it out of the park with his performance as grief-stricken teen Patrick Chandler. The wide array of emotions Hedges exhibited on-screen reminded me of somber days gone by. I found myself feeling sorry for Chandler as opposed to marveling at how well he handled the role.

Part of the movie was filmed in Beverly, Massachusetts where I grew up. It was nice to see roads, houses, and landmarks that I’m personally familiar with. There was one scene where Lee and Patrick went to a funeral home and couldn’t remember where they parked their car.

I found it funny because the street where they were searching for the car is nowhere near the funeral home in real life. Ah, the wonders of movie magic.

I’m glad I saw Manchester by the Sea simply because its award season and I like to see all the nominated films before the Oscars. Still, I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again because it’s too disheartening of a story to enjoy repeatedly.

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