Manchester by the Sea (OmU)
Drama by Kenneth Lonergan · 137 mins · USA, 2016
OmU – English with German subtitles
After his older brother (Kyle Chandler) tragically passes away, a handyman (Casey Affleck) is surprised to learn that he was given the guardianship of his nephew, a 16 year-old teenager.
In order to take care of his brother’s legacy and son, he needs to go back to Manchester-by-the-Sea, a place he once called home, and the community he used to belong to.
Rarely a film has been more grief-stricken, and yet, it is all in nuance. This poignant tragedy is carried by the gifted performances of Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges, and a script that never tries to manipulate the audience with an excess of melodrama or pathos. The sorrow is all contained in the character’s bodies, all obviously ready to explode but whose overwhelming responsibilities prevent them from doing so. It is not that “life must go on”, as they say, but that life does go on, anyway, in the big as well as in the small things.
Casey Affleck is proving to be much more than what he was given the chance to show before, and the restlessness and discomfort that he embodies makes the film a powerful and unforgettable drama.