Manchester by the Sea

Four and a half out of five stars.

Manchester by the Sea is a place well  worth visiting in this excellent film from director Kenneth Lonergan (You can Count on Me).

Lee, a  grumpy handyman, prone to violent episodes is forced to return to his home town following the death of his brother . Here in Manchester by the Sea he is forced to confront his inner demons and a past which drove him away in the first place.

A film which is ultimately an exploration of grief sounds a little heavy, eh? Well please give this wonderful movie a try – because the emotions are all very real and never over-played.

And there is plenty of humour as well. Especially in the relationship between Lee and his nephew Patrick.

This isn’t one of those films with neat endings nor does it build to the SCENE, which gets repeated plays at every 2017 Awards Ceremony. But it’s all the better for it.

Casey Afleck delivers an Oscar-worthy nuanced performance and I wouldn’t be surprised if Michelle Williams gets a nod for Supporting Actress as well. Special mention to Lucas Hedges as Patrick, who has real screen presence.

And some advice, – one of the advantages of seeing films in the festival is that I was able to go in blind. No spoilers, no trailers giving me every detail, plot turn or special moment.

This movie is a real diamond – so spoil yourself and just ‘go see’.

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