I am in many ways a masochist, and many movies of 2016 indulged the part of me that wants to cry. But dear god, nothing quite like Manchester by the Sea. My sister saw it first and explained it as “It starts as the saddest movie you’ve ever seen, and then halfway through, it takes a fun twist towards another level of incomprehensible despair.” I am paraphrasing. But she is correct. At every plot turn, Kenneth Lonergan takes the road less traveled and much more depressing.
The writing and screenplay work together in perfect emotional harmony, highlighted by the quietly dynamic performances by Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, and one spectacular scene by Michelle Williams that left me crying into a lint covered scarf from the bottom of my bag. And in other news my crush on Kyle Chandler persists.
The sense of confusion and despair is mirrored by the cool toned setting of the coastal northeast, which is stunningly beautiful but still covered by the dull of winter.Manchester isn’t about redemption, it’s about survival and self-preservation, in spite of the most horrific thing you could ever imagine, and despite what others may need from you. 9/10