Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
From 13th January 2017
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
In complete contrast to the often cliche-ridden Hollywood movies that are released Manchester By The Sea, including a phenomenal acting performance by Casey Affleck, as Lee Chandler a janitor, is a highly atmospheric and emotionally moving film, superbly directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan, creating only his third celluloid production in 17 years.
Manchester By The Sea is a portrait of human emotion in many forms, be it tragicomedy, sorrow, distress, joy or humour, but above all an overwhelming sense of compassion. But redemption is in short supply.
The use of flashbacks is highly effective, which are adeptly layered throughout the story. Lonergan makes the two time frames almost seamlessly converge.
Set mainly amid a snow laded wintry landscape/seascape, Chandler is like a blank soul, an inarticulate individual, who has bottled inside the appalling human tragedy that has befallen him.
What is significant with many of the characters in the film is the human trait of saying one thing but meaning something else. A great reflection of ‘real life’ and ‘real people.’
Although Michelle Williams, who plays Chandler’s wife Randi, is featured in promotion shots and in the trailer of the movie, she only makes fleeting , but highly impressive appearances, notably in a church when attending a funeral. It was enough to make ones eyes moisten, as was the case with other sequences in the film.