November 27, 2016

Movie Review: Manchester by the Sea *****

Casey Affleck is remarkable in his role as Lee in Manchester by the Sea. He's a solitary man with demons, though we don't know what they are until well into the film, and when the story is revealed we completely understand who he is.
Now he has to go home to deal with the death of his brother and figure out what to do with his 16-year-old nephew, whose father named Lee as his guardian, without telling Lee.
"Because he knew I'd say no," Lee tells the attorney.
Affleck hits just the right notes of stoicism and grief, and much of his performance is in his face, not his words. It's a subtle and restrained performance and I can't imagine he won't be nominated for an Oscar for this performance.
Newcomer Lucas Hedges as the nephew Patrick also gives a wonderful and authentic performance. Kenneth Lonergan's direction was just right in this film, and all the actors live up to his high expectations.
There are no neat little bows in this story. It's a gritty story about gritty people, struggling to survive.
Five stars out of five for Manchester by the Sea.

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