If I could confidently sit you down and describe my favorite movie, it would unequivocally be Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester By The Sea." This movie contains all of the cinematic features that captivate and move audiences, primarily focusing on character development. If you are looking for a movie that will make you laugh and cry, make you feel torn inside but longing to continue watching and make you true depths of love and family, then this is the movie for you.
This movie begins with lead role Casey Affleck's brother's death, leaving Affleck shocked to find out that he has been made the sole guardian of his teenage nephew Patrick. Affleck, who has separated from his wife and lives alone, does not believe he is suited to care for this child. Instantly, the audience is thrown into the mix of emotions that surround this film. We want to know why Affleck isn't ready to raise his nephew. We question why he has separated from his wife. We long to reveal who will be Patrick's guardian if Affleck won't assume the role.
As the movie progresses, we learn that Affleck had two younger daughters and lived happily in Manchester-By-The-Sea, a port city on Cape Cod. Spoiler alert, disastrously Affleck leaves his house to buy beer late in the evening and forgets to put the cover on his fireplace. He returns to his house in flames and his world ablaze. From here, we can see why Affleck isn't ready to take on the parental guidance of his nephew.
This movie, although melancholy and gloomy, contains a swirl of love, anger, tenderness, and brittle humor. Within the depths of darkness here, there is a shining light that demonstrates the power of family and togetherness. We see that Affleck, through his trials and tribulations begins to open up and take in Patrick.
Not only does the audience see Affleck take on life with a little more joy and pride, but we see Patrick learn a great deal from his uncle. An outgoing teenager who is part of a band, has multiple girlfriends and plays hockey, he does not want to relocate and move in with Affleck. However, as the bond that ties them continues to solidify, we see that he is actually devastated when Affleck moves away. It is here that we can appreciate how far both these individuals have come. How many hardships they have endured and the continued perseverance they share.
Manchester By The Sea is a fantastic film. It will forever be an all-time classic and live in honor. Although it does not necessarily contain a happy ending, cliche moments or an unexpected plot twist, this movie opens up the viewer's eyes into the real hardships and struggles that come with an unexpected death. For that, I would have to give this movie 5 stars and continue to recommend it to all film lovers.