Manchester By the Sea (2016)

manchester_0“I dont understand.” – Lee

Number of Times Seen – 1 (22 Jan 2017)

Brief Synopsis – After learning of his brother’s sudden death, a man must deal with getting custody of his teenage nephew.

My Take on it – This is a film I heard about months ago and have been so interested in seeing because I knew it would be incredible.

Casey Affleck is truly amazing in the title role and if it hard to imagine anyone (even you Matt Damon) playing this role as well as he does.

The audience can easily relate to him and his situation and are easily drawn in by all that is happening around him.

The story is structured in an incredible way because as the resent progresses, we slowly begin to learn about the past which raises the stakes of the story higher and higher.

I loved that whenever there was a truly intimate scene between characters (especially during important discussions), the camera moves back and lets us just see what is happening from afar without revealing the exact conversation; but we still understand what is more or less being said.

What is being said tho, isn’t as important as how the characters react and interact during these situations as we watch them from afar.

The supporting cast is also superb and the chemistry between Affleck and his co-stars is magical because they all seem like rel people whenever they interact.

It’s been a long time since I saw a film that felt so real and genuine and which resonated so amazingly with me.

This is one of the best film of 2016 , if not THE best because it is so powerful on so many levels.

Bottom Line – Affleck is superb here and I have doubts if anyone (Damon included) could have done such an exquisite job with the character.  Loved how the story comes together and how we slowly get information about the past as the future story progresses.  Loved the way that there are numerous instances with very intimate scenes that are viewed from afar where we can’t really hear exactly what is happening, but still witness the moment.  The supporting cast is great and they all click so well with Affleck.  The story feels real and that’s what draws you in because you could easily know people like this or even perhaps be like this and as a viewer you want to watch and help make things better.  One of the best films of 2016, if not THE best because it is so powerfully done.  Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Matt Damon was initially set to direct and star in the film. Back in 2011, Damon, concerned about Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘horrible limbo’, wanted to do something nice for his friend. So he sat in Lonergan’s Manhattan apartment and pitched him an idea for a script about a New England handyman who ends up with custody of his dead brother’s teen son – a story Damon thought would be right up Lonergan’s dark alley. he idea for Manchester by the Sea actually was hatched by John Krasinski. Krasinski shared his nascent pitch with Damon over dinner in 2011 during the filming of The Adjustment Bureau (in which Damon co-starred with Krasinski’s wife, Emily Blunt). They actually grew up a few bus stops from each other in Massachusetts – Damon in Cambridge, Krasinski in Newton. Damon liked Krasinski’s idea so much, he considered not only starring in the film but also making it his directorial debut. They wasted no time heading to New York to pitch Lonergan. Embroiled in his Margaret troubles (the film was being held up from release by a lawsuit filed by producer Gary Gilbert, who was demanding a shortened re-edit that Lonergan was refusing to make) and committed to other stage projects, it took Lonergan a couple of years to get a first draft written. By then, Damon’s schedule had filled up and he’d had second thoughts about directing the project, although he still wanted to star in it. Lonergan, meanwhile, finally had seen movement on Margaret (the film had a limited release in 2011; the court case was settled in 2014) and was starting to think about stepping behind a camera again. “He came back with this 150-page draft. It was too long, but it had everything that was in the movie.” Damon urged Lonergan to make Manchester by the Sea his next directing job. Even with Damon still attached to star and produce, financing was hard to come by. And then, another blow: Damon had to drop out as the lead because of a slew of other commitments that would have delayed production for years. He recruited childhood friend Casey Affleck to take his place. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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13 thoughts on “Manchester By the Sea (2016)

  1. Great review, Rob. You make some really good points, like the camera hanging back to allow us to participate with the emotion. I really loved this movie too. Top 5 material! The writing was as strong as the performances. I love how natural the dialogue felt with Ums and Ahs and talking over and interruptions. I wanted characters to get along so much in this movie. I was rooting for them to feel happy. This is rare in the days of Transformers and such. Manchester is truly special. Another strong character study!!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. One of my favourites of the year by far. I loved how the flashback scenes didn’t FEELlike flashback scenes. It wasn’t jumping back and forth in time but telling one continuous story. I loved the way it was structured.


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