‘Manchester By The Sea’ is a story about man who cannot escape his past. What starts off as a slight, comedic observational drama into small town lives slowly but surely corkscrews into a character-driven tragedy which drags you into the hopes and fears of its characters.
There are no easy choices in Manchester for Affleck’s character Lee Chandler.
In the lead Casey Affleck gives a beautifully nuanced performance, which ably sets the tone for the rest of the cast including the deservedly Oscar-nominated Lucas Hedges as his brother and the ever-dependable Michelle Williams. There are no easy choices in Manchester for Affleck’s character Lee Chandler. Mired by a desire to disappear, friends and acquaintances greet him like ghosts on each street corner and each bar he enters into. Every encounter peels back yet another layer of a man trying so hard to distance himself from a past he can’t shake off and a longing he dare not admit to.
‘Manchester By The Sea’ is grown-up fare where consequences not bullets shape the edges of the drama. Painful decisions and regret fasten themselves to everyone like salty barnacles, all threatening to weigh Affleck down with each brow-furrowed step and punch-drunk bar fight he starts into. To watch his character unravel is absorbing stuff and the two hours and seventeen minutes just flies by. If you enjoyed ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and like your reality barbed with believable characters, committed performances and deft direction then this is a worthy Oscar winner deserved of your attention. But if there’s one thing that the characters could all agree on is that life just doesn’t play out that way you expect it to. We’ll see…