REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea

SPOILER ALERT: “Manchester by the Sea” is greatness. Casey Affleck still sucks.

OSCAR SEASON is here, people! That special time of the year where you have the chance to see a movie that doesn’t revolve around robots, explosions, or men doing something heroic while a beautiful actress stands on-looking in the background. For the last six months I’ve been checking out some buzz-worthy films that have gotten to be quite #trendy.

Rave reviews of Casey Affleck’s performance in “Manchester by the Sea” had been rolling in for months by the time I decided to give it a shot. Because of said “Oscar hype,” I strolled into the movie theater with high expectations. I was expecting this performance to revile the head honchos of cinema’s past, à la Sean Penn “IS THAT MY DAUGHTER?!?” or Daniel Day Lewis “YOU DRANK MY MILKSHAKE!” The stakes were set high.

What I saw instead was something much more subtle, quiet, comedic, and still beautiful. We’ve grown so accustomed to thoughtful monologues from characters in grief- their come-to-Jesus moment where they see the light, their mistakes, their missteps, the truth that surrounds them. (Grey’s Anatomy can deliver a grief risen monologue like no other.) But life isn’t like that, right? People are messy. They DON’T realize their mistakes, and if they do, isn’t it painstakingly hard to admit them to those you love most?

So the story of ‘Manchester by the Sea’ is honest in this way. There’s not a moment of blatant self-actualization. It shows that life is a series of horribly sad situations, interspersed with sincere hilarious moments- and that life really does go on. A combination of the shitty and the funny that life has to offer, “Manchester by the Sea” was a grade “A” wonder in my opinion.

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