Manchester by the Sea

Nominated for an Oscar (that he must surely win?) Affleck plays Lee, a depressed janitor and when we meet him he has a penchant for violence and self-loathing. As the film unfolds you find out why, and while not an easy watch this is the first must see film of the year. Afflecks outstanding performance, how you portray cut up inner conflict and subtle at the same time is beyond me, and the direction by Kenneth Lonergan are so clever that it deserves all the praise it is getting. With the snowy fishing town of Manchester as the backdrop the cinematography creates an atmosphere of loneliness and despair, add to that the use of music and the supporting cast and you have a real tear-jerking tale of life and all the things it can throw at you. There are also pockets of humour within the bleak story that crafts a much need balance for the films runtime. It’s a powerful and at the same time understated story that grips from the offset and uses flashbacks to great effect to really open the present and get under the skin of these characters and everything they are going through. Manchester by the Sea will probably lose out come award season to a more feel good film like ‘La La Land’ but I urge you to go and see this film because it isn’t often cinema has such an impact and stays with you long after the event.

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