“Manchester by the Sea” is a beautifully filmed movie that makes clear the point–not everything that is broken can be mended, at least not in this life. The film’s plot deals with tragedy–divorce and death–as well as other life issues, and it does so in a realistic fashion. If anyone has ever heard people laughing at a gathering at a funeral home, as the departed one was remembered, the movie plays very much like that. It features sadness and raw emotions, yet awkward moments and laughter.
Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler, who is placed in the position of having no choice but to care for his nephew when his brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler), dies. Joe’s son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), misses his dad very much and Lee’s challenge to become his guardian will not be an easy one. In addition, Lee has to deal with being back in his hometown and dealing with a tragic past in the community he was raised. The various scenes of Manchester are beautiful to watch and contrast a beauty with the pain and heartache that takes place at other times on the screen. The film is getting Oscar buzz due to the writing and Affleck’s performance. Michelle Williams is also excellent in a brief role as Lee’s ex-wife.
Regrettably, due to strong language and sexual content, we are unable to award this movie our Dove Seal.