Manchester By the Sea :: A Totally Unsentimental Five-Tear Film…

Manchester By the Sea is an incredibly moving film about grief and loss and guilt. After I, Daniel Blake, it's the most I've cried in public for years. It's a totally unsentimental five-tear film.

Casey Affleck is Lee Chandler, a man haunted by a thing he did, a mistake he made in the past. A big one. Now he's back home in Manchester, Massachusetts, because his brother has died and left him a surprise.

In the space of a very immersive couple of hours, you get to know Lee and the mistake he made, and you really, really, really want to help him.

But you can't. Nobody can help him. Not even those who know him and still love him.

Cineville - Manchester By the Sea

This film got me right in the heart. It has beautiful family scenes. The performances are perfect and all of the relationships are wholly believable. Plus it's funny and the characters are repressed, salt-of-the-earth working-class people with ridiculous accents — they're my kind of people, no matter how much I tried to deny it. 

Manchester By the Sea is a great film and I'm not going to say anything else about it. Whatever you do, if you haven't seen the film, don't read Peter Bradshaw's review in The Guardian. He's absolutely the worst for spoilers.

If you have seen it already, and you love it, do check out the 'Hated It' reviews on IMDb. They will make you feel really sad, like when you see a fellow human being torturing an animal and you just think, How can we even be the same species? Or on second thoughts, don't. It's not a nice feeling. 

Maybe just watch this film again instead, and let the empathy wash you out to sea. 


Cineville - Manchester By the Sea


The Viewing

I had been working all day and I thought yes. Why not? I deserve a treat.

Usually I put my eyes in before I go to the cinema — by which I mean my contact lenses. But tonight I forgot. I can actually see the film better these days when I have my glasses on (if I remember to clean them), but they're in that slack-armed, slightly crooked, end-of-their-life phase and I don't feel hugely comfortable in them. I feel like a middle-aged man in a sit-com. Actually, not always. Often I don't even think about it.

Tonight, however, the box-office assistant was a delightful woman with sparkle and vim and my vanity was bothered by the fact that I looked like an out-of-work bible salesman. Or something. Something useless and square.

I need new glasses.

I need sparkle.

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you’ll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven’t already.

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