Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
With this year's Jewish International Festival underway, SWITCH has checked out the program - click here to read our reviews.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
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw - Dwayne Johnson & Jason Statham's action-packed spinoff
TRENDINGWIN FAST & FURIOUS: HOBBS & SHAWDwayne Johnson & Jason Statham's action-packed spinoff
Sliders: The Complete Collection - The entire classic sci-fi series in one big box set
TRENDINGWIN SLIDERS: THE COMPLETE COLLECTIONThe entire classic sci-fi series in one big box set
Judy & Punch - A fierce, darkly comic and epic revenge story
TRENDINGWIN JUDY & PUNCHA fierce, darkly comic and epic revenge story
Farming - Caught between two worlds in an mournfully true story
TRENDINGWIN FARMINGCaught between two worlds in an mournfully true story
Charlie's Angels - A new generation of Angels, another barrel of fun
TRENDINGCHARLIE'S ANGELSA new generation of Angels, another barrel of fun
And Then We Danced - A passionate and remarkable classic in the making
TRENDINGAND THEN WE DANCEDA passionate and remarkable classic in the making
Emu Runner - Another great win for Indigenous storytelling
TRENDINGEMU RUNNERAnother great win for Indigenous storytelling
Greener Grass - A deeply odd and very funny suburban nightmare
TRENDINGGREENER GRASSA deeply odd and very funny suburban nightmare
The Irishman - Kissing Scorsese’s ring (again)
TRENDINGTHE IRISHMANKissing Scorsese’s ring (again)
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
Jewish International Film Festival 2019 - The reviews
TRENDINGJEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019The reviews
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
Ford v Ferrari - A racing biopic that's right on track
TRENDINGFORD v FERRARIA racing biopic that's right on track
Never Look Away - An artistic and spiritual epic
TRENDINGNEVER LOOK AWAYAn artistic and spiritual epic
Five Feet Apart - Breathing borrowed air and clichés
TRENDINGFIVE FEET APARTBreathing borrowed air and clichés
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
Doctor Sleep - Here’s 'The Shining' Stephen King has been waiting for
TRENDINGDOCTOR SLEEPHere’s 'The Shining' Stephen King has been waiting for
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us