MANCHESTER BY THE SEA ~ Rated R – 127 Minutes
Written and Directed by Academy Award nominated screenplay writer Kenneth Lonergan, we meet Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), working as a building maintenance guy, just toiling his way through life.
When Lee receives a phone call that his brother has taken ill, he rushes back to MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, where all of his remaining family and friends still reside.
As Lee finds himself being sucked back into the world and surroundings he has tried so hard to distance himself from, he must face the reality that his brother has left his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges) in his care, and for the long haul.
As Lee and Patrick try to come to terms with how this new arrangement is going to play out, both uncle and nephew try to deal with this less than perfect situation for them both. Sad, bitter and wanting out of it all, Lee is forced to face another tragic loss from his past, that he never, ever, intended to face head on, once he sees ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) strolling around town…
Will Lee find himself upholding up his end of this deal ~ or will the loss in his present, and his past, be just too much for him to face???
I give MANCHESTER BY THE SEA a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN: This film is not only filled with breathtakingly beautiful scenery to view, but its storyline is heartbreakingly real and raw as well, the whole way through. Casey Affleck is perfectly cast as the uncle struggling through life due to some really bad judgment calls along the way ~ even his Bostonian comes out, making him in this role absolutely PERFECT! Hedges’ performance is about as good as it gets too, playing the nephew who just wants to get past the loss of his father, and to make it through high school! Williams is also superb playing Affleck’s ex-wife, who has apparently moved on with her own life, but can’t get beyond the great loss in their lives that they both never really dealt with. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA is a one of those films that touches your heart and soul, and doesn’t let go! You will be emotionally and spiritually moved throughout each and every frame of this film, as you find yourself wishing the best for these characters you will grow to embrace, but preparing yourself to face the worst with them too, all along the way…