“Manchester by the Sea” Focuses on the Hard Reality of Loss

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Eliza Kurtz, Staff Writer

Loss is the worst thing imaginable to go through. You never really recover. There is always something to remind you of what you once had and held. I have never seen a more realistic depiction of loss than in Manchester by the Sea.
The main character, Lee (Casey Affleck), faces the unbearable loss of his family that leads to his complete isolation. He only leaves his one-room apartment in a dismal Boston neighborhood when his brother, who has heart issues, is taken to the hospital. Within the first few minutes of the film, Lee loses his brother and is asked to be the guardian of his nephew.
Being forced to live where his loss has taken place is unimaginable, and a gruff, quiet Casey Affleck depicts it in a beautifully tragic way.
Lee’s relationship with his nephew is difficult to watch. With both being isolated people, the distancing of themselves comes with the territory. But the love they share makes the story all the more heartbreaking because they still cannot help one another.
If you are looking for a happy movie, this is not the one to go see. If you want a movie that makes you think and feel deeply, watch Manchester. Not being able to shake the past is a harsh reality rarely covered in movies. It’s a tough topic, but here it was executed artfully. The beautiful cinematography contrasts with the darker subject especially, and it managed to capture the beautiful location of Manchester
While the acting and visuals were incredible, I do have one complaint. The music was certainly incredible, Lesley Barber being one of my favorites, yet I was often confused with what the score was trying to portray. The emotions and placement seemed incongruous.
Overall, Manchester by the Sea was a beautiful film that was tied together by a heartbreaking performance by Affleck. I left depressed but the experience was worth it.