Saturday, December 10, 2016


Mostly well written/directed and acted melodrama that uses a kind of cynicism about working-class people that passes as authenticity for too many, especially in the movie and TV biz.  Casey Affleck is one of my favorite movie actors, period, but maybe because of all the hype I'd been exposed to before I went to see MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, I was impressed, but not to the point of his being my choice for best actor in a film this year. For me, that's still Trevante Rhodes, or actually any of the other male leads in what for me is still the best movie of the year, MOONLIGHT.

I don't mean to entirely diminish the stature that MANCHESTER BY THE SEA deserves, just to put it in a little perspective. The level of acting and writing and directing makes these characters compelling to us, but in lesser hands the soap opera nature of the piece would be pretty obvious. It uses one of the easiest (and in my day what many considered the "cheapest") devices in the arts to elicit audience sympathy (which I'll leave undescribed, since it's an important plot point for those who haven't seen it yet and I don't want to spoil the effect).

Is it worth seeing? Most definitely. Would I ever want to watch it again? Definitely not.

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