As I work my way through this year’s Oscar Binge, I’m circling down to just a few remaining films. Manchester by the Sea was this year’s Room: the one that I was dreading because I just knew it would be heavy, dark, depressing. Boy, was I led down the wrong path. This is a charming and funny film about grief, death and loss.
Don’t get me wrong: Manchester by the Sea is not a happy film. It is instead a look into the life of a troubled man (Casey Affleck as Lee) who lost his whole family (and never recovered from that) who then loses his brother and is forced to return to the hometown where everyone knows his past. It is not a smooth and easy return to begin with but, when he learns he has been named guardian of his 16-year-old nephew, his issues and the bad memories amplify. Manchester is a study in relationships and how a broken person tries to interact with other people – with little effort to heal himself. And it’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year.
Really, really short review: Sad? Sometimes. Dark? No. Watch it? Certainly.