Tuesday, December 06, 2016
REVIEW: MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
This one is not for those who can't endure pain. It is a story about grief, how to live with it or not live with it. How it affects others. What people do to get through it. Casey Affleck gives one of the bravest, truest, realistic performance I have ever seen. He's in almost every scene and you cannot take your eyes away from his haunted face. The use of overlapping dialog was a terrific choice for allowing the characters to feel related. Michelle Williams is only in a few scenes but her final one knocks it out of the park. The setting is perfect, the characters feel real and they are given time to develop. By the movie's end you could write an essay about each of them--that's how well you know them. Just don't expect to walk out smiling. What humor there is comes from a young actor, Lucas Hedges, who again feels organic. Every line seems perfectly suited to a smart, nice kid. And like every character he has one scene that will tear you up. Maybe LaLa Land or Jackie or Fences will up the ante but this looks like the best picture of the year. And this after my deep admiration of MOONLIGHT.