In this heart-gripping drama, Casey Affleck portrays a man, Lee Chandler, who came back to his hometown to deal with the passing of his brother. Lee found out that his brother’s will is for him to be his nephew’s guardian. While trying to build a relationship with his teenage nephew, Lee found himself caught in the past that he does not want to remember. Manchester by the Sea is sorrowful and devastating, however, the sadness and nuances in this film are so real that it made me feel very much alive. The story did not try to force a “perfect” ending. Instead, it let the narrative flow, let the events unfold, and paused at a natural place.
I have never really noticed Casey Affleck in any other film, but his performance in Manchester by the Sea is truly memorable. His Golden Globe for the role of Lee Chandler is well-deserved (despite of what he might have done in real life).
It is Cannes Film Festival time and my love for what follows – the festival really defines my movie choices over the next year or so – is well documented. So many of the movies I was crazy for in 2014 / 2015 found their starts here.
Take Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner. Mike Leigh has long been a Cannes favourite and for good reason: his decades long run of quality film has been remarkable. I’ve been a fan of Leigh since forever so I am pleased when a new one debuts. Mr. Turner did not disappoint.
Leigh is typically known for his “kitchen sink” movies: docu-dramas notable for their gritty realism and regular-people-stories. These are quiet, lived-in movies that can be quite powerful. Borrow Another Year or Secrets & Lies for something like this.
In terms of being a movie fan, I seem to be a tad forgetful. I’m not necessarily a fair weather friend – my love stays constant – but I am too easily distracted by the next shiny thing that comes along.
So with every new year and every new Toronto International Film Festival, I am reminded of an admired film artist that I have been neglecting.
Last year, I felt great shame at how I had been taking the wonderful Jim Jarmusch for granted. Now I have kept up with his work, but lately with less fidelity. I have no idea why (perhaps I am too much the dilettante) as he has made some of my favourite American indie movies. Continue reading