Thoughts on the Movie “Manchester by the Sea”

Wife and I saw a movie last night.  We walked through the melting snow under a chilly but clearing sky to watch a movie down in Ballard as part of our journey to watch all the Oscar nominees before the Oscars.

I loved (!!) “Manchester by the Sea.”  I’m a sucker for serious (sad), slice-of-life films where people are working very hard to try to overcome something in their life. The story was touching, the characters interesting and the performances amazing and it’s not too over the top on anything.  Also, I loved how it somewhat slowly revealed the past pain.  At one point, I was actually thinking it would be my pick for movie of the year.  But ultimately “Moonlight” is still my pick of the year.

What could have been better in Manchester by the Sea (while emphasizing I loved the movie, and in fact wish it were a book so I could read the book 🙂 )?

Depth.  I love films that add depth.  What makes Citizen Kane great is all the depth to it, i.e. the plot devices added in the background, certain pictures hung a certain way, etc.  I love looking for things like that in film, like in Moonlight how after the character said he’d been called “Blue” once as a boy you could see all the blue in the background.  I kept looking for things here, but I didn’t leave certain they actually meant something (other than the obvious, such as Winter and Spring).  For example, the clock states “12:31” – I was thinking perhaps that was foreshadowing that he had 3 kids and now will have 1 (Patrick) again; Patrick crosses the street and there is a “No Parking On This Side” next to the graveyard and was wondering if that meant something like they will pull themselves out of their misery but am not sure that was true; when Lee was bouncing the ball then passed it to Patrick and said “Let it go” but Patrick chased him down with it, I thought that might mean something but am not sure it did.  The only thing I can wonder is that perhaps the movie — which ended at the beginning of Spring — was showing there was hope for their future but I can’t be certain that is true.  Anyway, there might have been things but I didn’t see them, which is a major difference between an enjoyable story/movie and a great one, for me.

Cinematography.  La La Land absolutely pops off the screen, and Manchester was in a beautiful setting and spent time showing us the shots, but the visuals didn’t pop like Moonlight or La La Land.

Anyway, my two cents.  But I loved that film!!!!

 

 

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Thoughts on the Movie “Manchester by the Sea”

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