• Gareth Crook

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

I'm a wreck after watching this, it's devastating. I don't mean that in the 'it's okay, it's only a film' kind of devastating, I'm mean the 'sucker punch, can't catch my breath' sort of way. I don't like Casey Affleck. I'm sure he's a nice enough bloke, but he's always annoyed me on screen. He's whiney, slurs the delivery of his lines, tends to play unlikable characters. All this is present again here, but it works, really works, he's fantastic. The whole film is, but it will rip your heart out, stamp on it and shred it into tiny pieces while you're forced to watch. It's a bleak haze depicting a tragic series of events in the cold American town of Manchester, specifically though the focus is on Affleck who's rarely off screen and although often understated, commands almost every frame as his life unravels. There's no sugar coating and the scenes are set up very matter of fact, allowing you into a world that you really don't feel comfortable in. A sombre film that Affleck will find very hard to top.

8/10


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