Manchester by the Sea ★★★★★

I haven't been on here as much this year, and I'm not going to bore you with the life-altering changes that influenced by lack of writing, but it's not just my writing that has stopped. I just haven't been able to see a lot of films this year. That being said, this intimately desolate exploration of cumbersome grief and visceral examination of a man's complete detachment from everything around him was sososososo fucking powerful that I just had to say a few things about it. Most importantly I think is that even though this is a profoundly sorrowful film, and a lot has been written already about that, it's also absolutely hilarious. Everything is laced with a grim undertone undoubtedly, but the black comedy is always effective and makes the emotional explosions that permeate the second half feel so much more devastating. Secondly, Casey Affleck. Vacancy laced with caustic levels of bubbling turmoil. His crucial scene with Williams is so fucking heartbreaking. I...I've honestly never seen such a resonant performance. Unbelievable. Third, and final is that Lonergan's direction is gorgeous and unwinding in how it slowly peels back all the layers and layers that Lee has built on top of himself in an effort to protect himself. His slow but satisfying unraveling is crushing and fascinating to watch. What a splendid film. The best of the year.