Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea ★★½

Eh. Overrated mumblecore cinema. The film limps along trying to convey the silent frustration that is men attempting to deal with the grief of losing someone. It works from a performance standpoint, Affleck can convey so much just in his eyes. The cinematography was nice, as well.

But a static script that refuses to push the plot forward for long stretches makes it tedious to watch. Lee’s reluctance to move back to Manchester doesn’t feel motivated enough, considering the town doesn’t express any open hostility toward him for the role he played in the deaths of his children. It’s all subtle, and in the end, he’s the one starting fights in bars.

Subtlety can go a long way, but that goes out the door when we get scenes of him screaming or Lucas Hedges overacting his ass off when he opens a freezer. And forget examining grief from the perspective of a teenager, we need two scenes of his terrible band practicing. One of the least memorable best picture nominees of the last two decades. Two and a half stars.

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