I've very much enjoyed other Kenneth Lonergan films, and I've admired
Casey Affleck's acting gifts for a long time. Because of the rave
reviews, I was looking forward to seeing this. Unfortunately, the film
went into production with a half-baked script. It probably needed
another 5-6 rewrites to make the characterization more layered, develop
the subplots more, and get to the pith of the central conflict, which
was extremely weak.
The story didn't really get off the ground until the last third of the film. It's a testament to Affleck's acting, not the story, that the film managed to sustain my interest. The only thing I'll say about the music is that the classical music was used in a very ham-handed fashion to manipulate the audience's emotion.
Affleck plays a character named Lee, who has suffered a tragedy from which he can't recover. He does his best with an taciturn, undeveloped character whose aims are vague and is so caught in depression and grief that he displays little outward emotional expression. The other major character is Patrick, a teenage boy whose father, Affleck's brother, has died suddenly.
One of the big wrongs in the screenplay is that we don't get any sense that Patrick is grieving or even in shock about his father's death until a contrived scene later in the movie about a refrigerator that is a weak, unconvincing attempt to show Patrick has feelings about his father.
The relationship between Lee and Patrick is meandering and with mild conflict here and there. It's supposed to be the spine of the movie, but it's so flaccid that the film often lacks focus.
I think this movie has something to say, but it's not fully articulated, because the film was shot before the script was fully ready for production.
Manchester by the Sea
Manchester by the Sea
An uncle is obliged to return home to care for his nephew after his brother dies. Not knowing that he has been named guardian, he struggles with the decision. Throughout the movie he recounts past memories that caused him to leave Manchester and distance himself from his past.
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February 09, 2017 at 04:17 AM