Eq reviews - manchester by the sea (2016)
when lee chandler is made aware of his brothers sudden death, he returns to his hometown to care for his estranged nephew. unknowing he is to be the guardian, he struggles with that decision as well as the tragic past he had left behind.
it may seem blasphemous that i didn't completely fall in love with this film as so many others did, so let me get the negatives out of the way since there were only a couple. first and foremost, there was (to me) one of the films most important and emotional scenes that takes place at a police station that was nearly ruined by the overbearing and unnecessary score that played over this tense and emotional scene. while the films score overall was good and played well in most scenes, it was when this over-dramatic piece of music took over a scene that was more suited for silence to allow the dialogue to stand on its own that really robbed the scene of its emotionial impact that it should've had. i also felt that while director kenneth lonergan's script was an emotional and heartbreaking story that was brought to life very well, it felt very simplistic overall and instead of being a film that stands out due to its story, it was a film that was primarily elevated by the performances and direction. which plays right into my positives and going back to that aforementioned scene at the police station, it was saved singlehandedly by the acting. casey affleck, who has been one of my favorite actors since his lead acting debut in 'gone baby gone', gives us a performance that blows away his prior performances, even outshining his work in 'gone' by a hair. actors like michelle williams, kyle chandler and newcomer lucas hedges (who shares fantastic chemistry with affleck in their scenes together) are all pieces that fit extremely well into the 'manchester' puzzle but this film is without a doubt, affleck's baby and he is only hoisted above the crowd with the help of his extraordinarily talented supporting cast.
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