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MOVIE REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea

Lee (Affleck) is living a quiet, lonely, soulless life as a building manager/handyman when he gets a phone call that will upend his life in ways he cannot imagine and, to be perfectly honest, doesn’t want to imagine.

Lee’s brother Joe (Chandler) has died and he must return to his hometown, just a few hours drive away, to care for his teenage nephew Patrick (Hedges). When he is told he is now the young man’s guardian, Lee has no choice but to confront his past so he can move into his future.

Once home, he must confront his past and all that entails as well as dealing with his 17 year old nephew who is as self-absorbed as any other 17 year old, caring only about his band, his mates, his ice hockey and getting laid. Not always in that order either.

Yes I do realise I am being all sorts of vague but it is very deliberate. To say anymore would be a great disservice to this movie as its strength lies in the unfolding of the story, in its own time, at its own pace.

This movie won’t be for everyone. For a start there are no bells, whistles, fancy gadgets or clever plot twists. It is at its heart, a simple story about a family who have suffered a great tragedy and how over many years, they try and deal with it.

The telling of the story is slow, very slow, and for a good part of the movie, you won’t really be able to connect all the pieces. Yep, you have to work hard for this one. But oh my ….

Once all the characters are gathered and the story begins to unravel, your heart will be ripped out, slammed back, ripped out again, twisted and turned until you can’t breath and thrown back into your chest again.

I sat there and sobbed. I have tears in my eyes now.

Having said that, this is not a depressing movie. Weird, right? It’s just not. You will sob and want to gather this poor man into your arms but …. still not depressing. It will make you think, it will make you wonder and it will make you realise that sometimes all the hype around an actor and/or movie is absolutely spot on.

Obviously, I love this one.

4 ½ stars

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Director : Kenneth Lonergan
Starring : Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, CJ Wilson, Tom Kemp, Chloe Dixon, Ben O’Brien
Running Time : 137 minutes
Release Date : In Cinemas Now

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Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.

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