This year’s ‘Boston movie’ is ‘Manchester by the Sea.’ Told through a series of flashbacks mixed with present days events, Casey Affleck stars as a young working class New Englander who takes custody of his nephew (Lucas Hedges) when his older brother (always reliable Kyle Chandler) dies young. In the present, Casey’s character Lee is treated as an outcast, and clearly has no interest in playing the role of father. In flashback we found out why…
Lucas Hedges as the nephew has something of a star turn here; Best Supporting Actor isn’t hyper-competitive this year, so who knows? Michelle Williams, again, reminds you she’s one of the best actresses of her generation, with only a few scenes.
The story (or non story) with this film is Casey Affleck. He’s good here, the sequence where his secret is revealed is great. Personally, I still think his best work was in ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’, but the ‘star’ of that film was Brad Pitt obviously. Casey is number one on the call sheet here.
I was more struck by the story (or screenplay) here than the execution, but that’s not to say it isn’t a good film. It’s in the conversation for the next couple of months.