Sunday, February 05, 2017

Review of 'Manchester by the sea'

A sad film about bereavement, responsibility, masculinity, alcohol. A bloke  (well, an American bloke, so he's probably a guy...but a blokey sort of guy) is living in in Boston and working as a janitor - he's good at the technical side of repairs and maintenance but not so good on the people stuff and has lots of arguments with the trickier tenants. But his brother dies, so he has to go back to the small New England fishing town where he grew up, and he finds that his brother named him guardian of the teenage son, without having forewarned him. Through a series of flashbacks we find out why he left the town in the first place, why he's so angry and so alone, and there's a sort of resolution in the conflict between him and the nephew. But there's no magic wand to make all the bad stuff go away, and we don't learn that everybody is OK really if you only approach them in the right way, or any other heartwarming but false messages. Often quite painful to watch, and long, but beautiful and worthwhile.

Watched at the proper cinema - the Everyman in Muswell Hill.

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