Manchester by the Sea review

Hadley Hudson, Staff Reporter

If there’s a movie on Rotten Tomatoes that has 96%, the general public is bound to go and see it. If a person sees a promising trailer for that film as well, the probability of seeing it gets higher. For Manchester by the Sea, that was me. And I, as well as anyone else that went to see it, was not prepared for the heartbreak that came. I was not ready, but I really loved it.

The plot of the movie is an interesting twist of hilarious, then horrifying moments. The movie switches between past and present moments, constantly keeping the audience on their toes. This flipping is a plot device in itself, because it fills a completely normal life with curiosity and mystery. I believe the point of the story was to be as ordinary as possible, with many scenes of car drives and walking down streets. The normalcy makes a sort of ironic and sick twist in the plot when reveals are made progressively in the storyline. The main character is a man named Lee Chandler, who needs to go back to Manchester, Massachusetts for his nephew. The relationship between Lee and his nephew Patrick is interesting, displaying their Bostonian accents and behaviors. Every relationship in the movie, just like Lee and Patrick, is lifelike. Every character displays the eccentricity that shows what it means to be human. The  individual element of each person and the story is shown through music as well: an orchestra’s booming instruments, a choir’s quiet melody, and other beautiful songs. Behind all of this, there is a constant theme that my my father described as,“a perfect mix of depressing and heart-wrenching.” I cannot deny that this movie hurt my insides a little bit, I left the theater still crying, but I also cannot deny that the parts that made me so sad are the parts of the movie that were the most well done.

When getting down to the mechanics and how well the movie was done, everything was incredible . It was a beautiful, and the way it was filmed is extremely intriguing; the unique camera angles and techniques used made the story flow even better, as well as making the events really pop out. The acting was very good as well, with Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, Lucas Hedges as Patrick, and Michelle Williams as Lee’s ex-wife. Affleck and Williams portray their relationship so well that the story becomes believable, and Hedges playing as Affleck’s nephew makes the audience laugh and cry with his teenage antics. Every actor in the movie makes a difference in the big picture even with seemingly small actions.
The mix of past and present perspectives, the intricate story that shows the audience that an ordinary man’s life is anything but ordinary, and the realness that came with the movie as a whole make this story stick. I have heard some negative opinions on the film, but they are all based around the fact that the story is extremely melancholy at all times for 2 hours and it’s hard to get through. Despite this, I still extend my recommendation to anyone that is in a really good mood (being in a bad mood would just make the journey much more rocky). Manchester by the Sea is a fantastic movie, with a great filming style, story, and amazing acting, and whatever awards it is going to get are deserved.