Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
We look at 'Fantasia' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Manchester By The Sea, Manchester, By, The, Sea, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, C.j. Wilson, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Broderick, Kenneth Lonergan, Drama film rating

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

★★★

A ROUGH RIDE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
29th January 2017

Crafting a pure drama film can be a tricky thing. You walk a fine line between anticlimax and melodrama, with one wrong step set to see you topple from a great height. 'Manchester By The Sea' dares to step up on the high wire, with a handful of superb actors, a moving concept, and a harsh yet exquisite environment in which the drama plays out. Can the film keep one foot in front of the other, or does it plummet into mediocrity?

Lee (Casey Affleck, 'Triple 9', 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford') has left his old life behind and shut himself away from the world after a messy ending to his marriage with Randi (Michelle Williams, 'My Week with Marilyn', 'Blue Valentine'). However, he's forced to return to his hometown after the death of his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler, 'The Wolf of Wall Street', 'Zero Dark Thirty'). Lee is surprised to discover that it was his brother's dying wish for him to become legal guardian to his teenage son Patrick (Lucas Hedges, U.S. remake of 'The Slap', 'Kill The Messenger'), but can Lee look after himself, let alone another person?

SWITCH: 'MANCHESTER BY THE SEA' TRAILER

'Manchester By The Sea' is a good movie, but not a great movie. It has a lot going for it - it has plenty of potential for emotion, a great cast, and a beautiful setting - yet there's a lot which is problematic with the film also. Despite these award-winning actors, there is no one character who you're willing to invest in; Lee comes off as a lonely, angry man before his brother's death, and sees no reason to change after the fact. Patrick seems like a relatable character - that is, until we get to know him, and discover he's just another ordinary astringent teenager. Nobody seems to have all that much of a problem that Joe has died - they say grief affects people differently, but there's almost no emotional response whatsoever to this information, and when there is, it's seems overdramatic and overplayed. And director Kenneth Lonergan delivers work only marginally more exciting than the "cinematic bus crash" which was his previous film 'Margaret'. Here he seems to be playing with realism to the extreme, having characters consistently speaking over the top of each other in numerous scenes, which more often than not comes off as awkward.

Despite these award-winning actors, there is no one character who you're willing to invest in.

That realism continues in the cinematography, portraying the American town of Manchester as bleak and sparse, with great beauty particularly in its use of wide shots. However, we linger too long on some details - a problem which holds a larger issue for the script, as it begins to overstay its welcome. Past the adaptation to life following the death of Joe, there is little in the way of growth, meaning we bear witness to the same tropes again and again. The further in we go, the more obvious the score becomes, vexingly so.

'Manchester By The Sea' doesn't deserve the six Academy Awards nominations it has garnered. It most certainly does not deserve to be judged against such monumentally affecting films such as 'La La Land' and 'Moonlight'. It's a shame, because with a more disciplined script, tighter editing and characters who aren't so abrasive and immovable, this could have been a truly touching story.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 02/02/2017
RUN TIME: 2h 17m
CAST: Casey Affleck
Michelle Williams
Kyle Chandler
Lucas Hedges
C.j. Wilson
Gretchen Mol
Matthew Broderick
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Kenneth Lonergan
PRODUCERS: Lauren Beck
Matt Damon
Chris Moore
Kimberly Steward
Kevin J. Walsh
SCORE: Lesley Barber
manchesterbytheseathemovie.com
ManchesterByTheSeaMovie
MBTSMovie
mbtsthemovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
Good Girls: Season 2 - It's never been so good to be bad
TRENDINGWIN GOOD GIRLS: SEASON 2It's never been so good to be bad
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Series 1-3 - The classic crime novels come to life
TRENDINGWIN AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE: SERIES 1-3The classic crime novels come to life
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Charles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
TRENDINGWIN THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDCharles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
The Personal History of David Copperfield - A rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
TRENDINGTHE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDA rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
TRENDINGBEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
Scheme Birds - A gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
TRENDINGSCHEME BIRDSA gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGMELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
The Big Trip - Should have stayed at home
TRENDINGTHE BIG TRIPShould have stayed at home
Flying High - Still landing jokes 40 years after take-off
TRENDINGFLYING HIGHStill landing jokes 40 years after take-off
Mr. Jones - A chilling true story
TRENDINGMR. JONESA chilling true story
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us