Film Notes – Manchester by the Sea (2016)

There is no denying it, death is a bitch. And for those left behind grief hurts like hell. When coupled with a guilt fuelled self-flagellation, the constant companions of anguish and despair can be suffocating and intractable. Manchester by the Sea is like a beautiful expanse of ocean. At times the steady motion of its waves are mesmerising and almost serene. But underneath the surface rages thunderous forces of emotion, sometimes agitating the surface with explosive force but mostly subdued, muted by the pressure of it’s own immense weight. At the beginning of the film, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) returns to his hometown of Manchester when his brother passes away. When he arrives at the local hospital, we alight in this town along with him and begin a journey of discovery as the personal narrative of Lee and his relationships to family, friends and the community are slowly revealed to us.

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