Feb 182017
 

Manchester by the Sea is a film that excels on the performance by Casey Affleck with honorable mentions toward Michelle Williams in her brief role and the young Lucas Hedges in one of his first major stint.

 

 

Manchester by the Sea
(2016)

Genre(s): Drama
Lionsgate | R – 137 min. – $39.99 | February 21, 2017

Date Published: 02/18/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Kenneth Lonergan
Writer(s): Kenneth Lonergan (written by)
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Gretchen Mol, Tate Donovan, Matthew Broderick
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


Note: This review contains SPOILERS about the plot.

Manchester by the Sea centers around Lee Chandler (CASEY AFFLECK), a Boston janitor living a solitary life in a dank apartment working routine jobs around various apartment complexes unclogging toilets, finding leaks and taking flack from tenants earning minimum wage.

This mundane life is turned upside down when his brother, Joe Chandler (KYLE CHANDLER), dies after a battle with a heart condition diagnosed years earlier. Lee returns to his hometown after years apart and upon reading Joe’s will, discovers he’s to be the guardian of his son, Patrick (LUCAS HEDGES) as the mother (GRETCHON MOL) had moved away and is unfit due to a bout with alcoholism.

Back home, Lee not only must deal with the responsibilities of being a guardian to a teenage boy but coming to terms with a personal tragedy that occurred years earlier where an accidental fire kills his three children and causes the end of his marriage to Randi (MICHELLE WILLIAMS).

Review: This is a tough movie to watch but not overly dour or depressing save for one sequence not to mention a key scene between Lee and ex-wife Randi which is highly emotional and clearly the scene that will be shown at the Oscars. However, as sad as the movie is, I actually didn’t really shed a tear though I did find myself invested in Affleck’s Lee even when the pacing was incredibly slow at times.

The performances all around were great. Casey Affleck was absolutely deserving of an Oscar nomination for what was internally quiet but slow-building; Michelle Williams, despite getting second billing, only has about 5 minutes of screen time but has one emotionally in-depth scene; the young Lucas Hedges does a fantastic job avoiding being the annoying cinematic teenager; and Matthew Broderick makes a credited cameo appearance, reunited with Lonergan, as the religious husband to Patrick’s mother as portrayed by Gretchen Mol.

Manchester by the Sea was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan marks his third film as director following You Can Count on Me, which apparently I’ve seen but have no recollection of (rated it a 6/10 on IMDb) and the lengthy drama Margaret. As a writer, his credits includes Analyze This and Gangs of New York for which he received an Oscar nomination (and one as well for You Can Count on Me).

In the end, Lonergan delivers a well shot, finely written movie headlined by some good performances and a haunting score by Lesley Barber (upcoming Beaches remake). While I can’t say it’s entirely memorable or it stuck in my mind days later, it’s at least a worthwhile rental if not full on purchase if you can appreciate slowly paced character dramas.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover and inside is a Digital HD code.

Audio Commentary – Described on the back cover and on the special features menu as “A Conversation with Director/Writer Kenneth Lonergan” but is a commentary with the filmmaker and a moderator discussing the origins of the project that initially was brought to Lonergan by Matt Damon and John Krasinski (who both served as producers).

Emotional Lives: Making Manchester by the Sea (16:00; HD) is a behind-the-scenes featurette that includes on-set and press interviews by the cast and crew talking about the characters and story.

Deleted Scenes (5:50; HD) – There are three scenes included here, though nothing overly amazing or impactful.

PreviewsSouthside With You, Patriot’s Day, Indignation, La La Land, Café Society

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Manchester by the Sea sails onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Although this is a film with dark moments, with a splattering of humor, the picture is relatively bright throughout. Detail is sharp and well defined, and has some minor natural looking grain and colors are fairly bright.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


The disc includes a standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is rather basic but does provide crisp and clear dialogue levels and while depth is on the limited side, the track does come to life through Lesley Barber’s score with ambient noises making use of the rear channels.


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, Manchester by the Sea is a film that excels on the performance by Casey Affleck with honorable mentions toward Michelle Williams in her brief role and the young Lucas Hedges in one of his first major stint. Although I don’t think it’s nearly as powerful as the pros though, it is still well worth at least a rental. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate offers good video/audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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