Casey Affleck hosted SNL and he questioned why? Indeed he had his new movie, Manchester By the Sea. But as he said, “It’s really sad.” And then he said, “It has some humor. It has family. But it’s really SO sad.” Indeed – this movie is heartbreaking, but so so good. Get in the right frame of mind and bring tissues. I really liked this film, and yes, I sniffled throughout. Casey Affleck should win the Oscar for Best Male Performance. He puts his whole being into this role and is so dang good.
Casey (Lee) works as a building maintenance guy in Boston. He’s a wounded soul with barely a bed and some clothes. One phone call – his brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies from a heart attack – brings Lee back to Manchester and he has to face his past. Joe appointed him guardian for his teenage nephew, Patrick, (played by a wonderful Lucas Hedges). Why?? Lee can’t believe this. He’s not prepared for this. He can’t deal with this. He’s forced to face his past in Manchester. In flashback we see happier times with Joe, Patrick, ex-wife (a heartbreaking Michelle Williams), and then the total destruction of Lee’s life. The movie builds, goes back in time, and we keep getting more pieces to the puzzle.
The reason for Lee’s sorrow, for his life is absolutely devastating. His reason to live and perk up is the nephew, Patrick. Lucas Hedges is a new, excellent actor. He brings a vibrancy to the role as he deals with his dad’s death and yet tries to soldier on. Typical teen – he’s full of bravado until he breaks down.
Manchester by the Sea is full of depth. It’s quite a tale and worthy of Oscar nominations. And yes, it’s SAD….holy crap….it’s sad, and then has a spark of hope. Lee and Patrick are going to make it. They are going to thrive. Join them in the journey. Trust me on this one……wow