8 THINGS I LEARNT WHILST WATCHING ‘MANCHESTER BY THE SEA’

I watched Kenneth’s Lonergan’s film about an uncle who is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies and learnt…

  1. Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams have unbelievable chemistry. I believed every word said between them as ex lovers. And they did the happy scenes of their relationship, just as well, if not better, than the harder, heartbroken scenes.
  2. It’s agonisingly frustrating to watch someone onscreen looking at their phone. In a number of scenes teenager, Patrick, is staring at his phone, as most teenagers often do. But for some reason, it’s painful to watch onscreen. You want to shout at him and tell him to look up. Maybe we should have that attitude in real life…
  3. Nobody in Manchester, New Hampshire, seem to wear enough clothes. It’s clearly freezing, as Patrick and Lee often rub their hands together and billow out the cold air. But there are no puffer jackets in sight. It made me cold just watching them. 
  4. All the clothes that are worn seem to be made by CarharttWas there a sponsorship deal going on here? Or do the people of Manchester just really dig Carhartt?
  5. Having a panic attack over food not fitting in the freezer is very normal. Patrick discovers his father’s body is going to be kept in a freezer. When food then begins falling out of the freezer at home he completely panics. This scene is one of the best. Lucas Hedges, who plays Patrick, doesn’t overact one bit, it is believable and heart wrenching.
  6. It wasn’t the teenager that was reacting by punching things for once. During the film we see Lee, the uncle, played by Affleck, punch people, windows and himself… And Patrick, the sixteen year old, stay calm and collected. It’s nice to see it this way round for once.
  7. ‘I can’t beat it,’ have got to be some of the most painful words ever said. No matter how hard he tries, or how much we want him to, Lee just can’t get over the past. When he admits this to Patrick, by saying ‘he can’t beat it’, you just want to climb into the other side of the screen and give him a big hug.
  8. I can be left unsatisfied by the ending of a film, but understand that being unsatisfied was the point. Just watch it.

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