MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (2016)
A film by Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is back to his hometown by news that his older brother, Joe, has died. Joe, an unbelievable nice man (Kyle Chandler), had congestive heart failure for a long time, so his death, while wrenching and sad, could not have been entirely unexpected so we are told in the flashback . What Joe’s 16-year-old son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), and Lee face together is an enormous grief and a big decision that Lee has to make.
The film opens with Lee a handy man for 2 building his life is miserable he has to put up with complaints from the tenants, who also complain about him to his boss. You see this man used by his job who lives downstairs in a one room apartment. Later in the flashback you will see in what kind of pain he is in. How did he live with himself then to top it all off his brother died now he is faced with: he has to look after Patrick, whose mother (Gretchen Mol) is out of the picture. Lee has to meet with lawyers and funeral directors. He drives his nephew to band practice, he forgets where he parked the car. He has to figure out what to do about Joe’s commercial fishing boat and what to say about Patrick’s complicated romantic situation. surprisingly there is some funny moments in there to break up this melodrama. Later Lee is faced to see again his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams ) which is not an easy task from both of them.
But Manchester by the Sea is about Lee and his family, their houses and boats and drinking habits and marriages. It has sentimental and ideological value, it is about life, trying to overcome tragedy and how they deal with it. A masterpiece yes it is but after that one you are going to want to see a comedy , because damn this melodrama can be exhausting watching the 2 hour of it. I am seriously going to need several glasses of wine.