Manchester by the Sea


Manchester by the Sea focuses on Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), who is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father suddenly dies, and must come to terms his past upon returning to his hometown. This plot and the marketing for the film make it seem very simple and somewhat familiar, but this movie is actually one of the most complex, heartbreaking, and exceptional films to be released in the last few years. I’ve seen performances in which actors feel like people instead of actors, but it’s hard to think of another time when a film doesn’t feel like it’s a film, because of how realistic the experience is. Every line and scene feels very authentic and almost like it wasn’t even written. The performances are also terrific, without a doubt. The hype for Casey Affleck’s performance, including a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination, is well deserved, as he delivers the most affecting performance I’ve seen this year. He doesn’t deliver a big scene that you can tell will be screened at the Oscars when his name is read, but the melancholy and soul he fills his character with is so real and moving that you go from hating Lee in the first minutes to empathizing with him by the end. Lucas Hedges delivers one of the greatest performances by a younger actor in recent years, and I felt so pulled into his role that I barely felt like he was acting, either. Michelle Williams is also exquisite and heart-wrenching as Lee’s ex-wife, who only has a few scenes but none of which aren’t memorable.

What audiences are sure to remember the most after seeing Manchester by the Sea is its gut-punching emotion, as a large portion of the film is very depressing and tough to experience. The emotional connection established between the audience and the main character is so strong that some events in the film feel much more effective and powerful than they would if the writing was any less spectacular than it was. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan makes us not only care about the characters but he goes as far as making us experience these events with them. Whenever something out-of-the-ordinary happened, something as small as the shatter of a glass, the reaction the audience in my theater had, as well as myself, was much stronger than it would be in films such as blockbusters, because we were made to feel like we were going through these events as well. One thing that surprised me is that, even in all the sadness that’s being thrown at you, Lonergan was able to sneak in a few moments of great humor, and it’s not there to distract or turn the story upside down. The themes the movie will leave you thinking about can be connected to by everyone, as the film focuses on the strength of family, brotherhood, and parenthood. Manchester by the Sea is a riveting achievement that is able to leave a huge impact on you after watching it, even without beautiful cinematography and visuals like others among the year’s best films such as La La Land and Arrival. It has an authentic sense of humanity rather than of a film, and the performances are by far the best of the year. This movie is guaranteed to break your heart and impact you unlike many films this decade, as it’s a mature, brilliant, and flawless experience that must be viewed before this year’s Oscars.

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A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

So I finally saw Interstellar yesterday after all this anticipation. Did it disappoint? Absolutely not! This is an excellent film! There is so much suspense, the acting is fantastic, the visuals are gorgeous, and so is the soundtrack. This is Hans Zimmer’s best score ever. The whole cast was excellent, and they all deliver such stellar performances. But Matthew McConaughey blew me away with his emotion and I really felt for him. There were parts that made me really emotional too. Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine were also great. But the real star is director Christopher Nolan. He amazed us with movies like Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and The Prestige. And now this, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He directed it so well, and the film is just so great. Chris Nolan always has great and unique ideas, and that is why he is my favorite director, and he blew my away with this. This movie is 2 hours and 49 minutes, but it felt like much less. It was pretty fast, but not rushed. I was not bored for a second. To be honest, I think it could have even been longer, but it didn’t have to be. The scenes in space are the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, and yes, it’s much better than Gravity.

I will say the ending did disappoint, though. I thought it would be one of Nolan’s genius endings like Inception, but it wasn’t. It didn’t make sense at first, but when you think about it, it kind of does, but I just wish it was less confusing and a bit more realistic.

Nonetheless, this movie is terrific. From the visuals to the acting to the soundtrack to the story, it’s a flawless space drama movie, except I didn’t love the ending. But I will say it is the best movie of the year and one of Christopher Nolan’s best films. I would definitely recommend this movie for anyone.

A ringed spacecraft revolves around a reflective sphere.