Manchester By The Sea: "My Heart Was Broken, But I Know Yours Was Broken Too"

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer:     Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck
                Michelle Williams
                Kyle Chandler
                Lucas Hedges
                Gretchen Mol
                C. J. Wilson
                Tate Donovan
                Matthew Broderick
Rating:    *****

Release Date: Out Now 

There are times where films are relentlessly sad, joyous moments are minimal and the drama is high. Manchester by the sea is definitely one of those films, but it is a beautifully painful film that looks at grief, loss, anger and guilt. Focusing on the loss of a brother and father, which brings a reluctant  man back to his home town, Manchester by the Sea is a career defining moment for the director and it's stars.

Casey Affleck & Lucas Hedges
Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler, the man riddled with guilt and anger, thrown back into a life of grief in his home town. I haven't seen Affleck in much before, but he blew me away in this film; a role that he fully embodies and is worthy of all awards he receives. The pain, angst, and fear that he battles with throughout the film is palpable, and Affleck really is a force to be reckoned with.

Lucas Hedges plays Lee's nephew Patrick, and he acts as a distraction for Lee, while Lee is a distraction for him. Hedges is grounded and natural is his manner and brings a genuine feel to the work. Only really breaking down in the final portions of the movie, Patrick is a complex character with so many layers to him, and Hedges perfectly explores and reveals those different aspects throughout the film.

Michelle Williams
The person who manged to break me however was Michelle Williams playing Randi, who only appears in a few scenes, and it was her final scene that got me to break. Having suffered a tragedy with her ex-husband, Lee, they had a messy divorce, where she blamed him for what happened, and haven't really communicated since. After reaching out to him after the death of his brother, Lee and Randi bump into each other in the street. As her hopes to reconcile don't go well for her, the image of Williams breaking down in the street as Randi, while Lee tells her "there's nothing there", brought me to tears, and huge credit goes to Williams. She is an class actress who delivers her character with all the emotion she has in her.

Kenneth Lonergan has written and directed a deep and moving piece of cinema. A story that follows a broken man in a broken family as they deal with grief together, and a gorgeously raw story it is. There is no weak link, and every performance and line of dialogue just adds to heartbreaking tale. Drama's, to this extent, may not be for everyone, but there is no denying that Manchester by the Sea is a cinematic triumph that deals with tragedy in an honest way; an honesty that is completely refreshing.

Manchester by the Sea - Trailer