The critically acclaimed film Manchester by the Sea, is a captivating and emotional film that contains award winning actors and expert filmmaking.
It is a life changing experience for a man named Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), who returns home and becomes the guardian of his nephew (Lucas Hedges) after his brother passes away. He does not know if he can overcome his troubled past to fulfil this responsibility which his late brother has left him.
Kenneth Lonergan directs this film with a series of harrowing flashbacks that slowly explain Casey Affleck’s troubled past and why his character is so depressed and isolated from the world around him. This creates a unique and intriguing element to the structure of the film, rather than the character telling us through voiceovers what happened.
Despite the film’ Academy Award winning Original Screenplay, the acting is what makes this a unique cinematic experience for the audience.
Casey Affleck won an Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance which is clearly depicted throughout the film.
The subtle actions he brings to the screen such as his stare, mumbling and twitches adds further intrigue into why we are following his journey.
There is a heart-breaking scene near the end of the film when Affleck’s Chandler is approached by his ex-wife played by Michelle Williams that completely steals the show.
This is when all those subtleties of his performance come full circle, as you finally see him in current day failing to control his emotions.
By this point in the film we understand why Chandler feels he is not equipped to be the guardian of his nephew and the background behind the breakdown with his ex-wife is at the centre of that belief.
Chandlers nephew also has a similar path where we witness him emotionless after his father’s death. In a masterful piece of storytelling, he breaks down when a frozen chicken gets stuck in the freezer and he cannot physically shut it.
This follows up his fright that his father is being kept in a freezer until the spring so they can dig his grave when the ground is not frozen.
The film left the audience wanting more of this enthralling yet heart breaking journey.
Overall Manchester by the Sea is a terrific movie, which displays incredible performances and masterful film making.