Manchester by the Sea ★★★★★

Manchester by the Sea feels so different from all the other films I've seen this year. It never once feels artificial or glossy, it never panders to it's audience and gives them a positive unrealistic solution, it's raw. It felt like I was literally watching the real life of lives of these people. Kenneth Lonergan has crafted something so great with Manchester by the Sea.

First off, just give Casey Affleck his Oscar already, it's not even a competition anymore. His performance felt so real and he really felt like he was just an actual human being and not just some fictional character. He's able to portray a man going through grief in such a shockingly incredible performance. No longer will I consider him the lesser of the two Afflecks. Lucas Hedges also gives a fantastic performance, he actually acts like someone his age should, not some adult trapped in a teen's body. Michelle Williams, despite being in the film for very little, was electric, and her character will emotionally devastate you.

The film's themes of grief and loss are played in such a pitch-perfect manner. It never sugar-coats it for the audience and that's how it is for the entire film. By the end of the film I just felt empty. The characters make many horrible decisions and are incredibly flawed people, but they're so well developed that you can completely see where they're coming from and why they're doing the things they're doing.

Manchester by the Sea is a masterpiece, plain and simple. There's no other film this year that's like it. It's a film that will destroy you emotionally and will feel like a punch in the gut, but it's still very well worth seeing. I can't recommend this movie enough.

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