I will start by telling you THIS ISN’T A LOVE STORY! If one more person asks that question I will really start to wonder about the people who actually watch previews. I honestly think people are judging movies by the posters now.

This movie stayed with me for the longest time. The subject matter is heavy stuff. Dealing with guilt, isolation, forgiveness, moving on, and so many other emotional subjects. I’m not sure if you can grasp it all in one viewing.

We start out watching handyman Lee (Casey Affleck) carry out his mundane duties day to day. He isn’t sociable, is sometimes rude, and you get the feeling that there’s a reason he lives in a basement that resembles a cell.

He receives a phone call one day telling him that his brother has passed away and he needs to go back to his hometown. It’s here we start to see flashbacks of the man Lee used to be. When he laughed openly with his brother and nephew and their fishing boat.

Guardianship of his nephew, who is now a teenager, is left to Lee. For some reason Lee’s reaction isn’t what you would expect and when you hear the lawyer say “I know it’s tough given what you’ve been through but you’re the one he wanted”, a light goes on. There is more to Lee’s story.

We see more flashbacks of Lee with a wife and three children. He’s a guy’s guy. He isn’t perfect but they love each other and he loves his family. An “accident” happens one night that changes Lee’s entire world.

What struck me the most was the look on his face when the police said they weren’t going to charge him with anything. It was a look of disbelief and anger. It’s then that his basement apartment makes sense. The self imposed isolation. He felt responsible and if the law wasn’t going to punish him than he was going to punish himself.

This movie is heartbreaking and deals with so much but there is real life in here and it shows all throughout the movie mostly by Casey Affleck.

About darie73

I have lived with Bipolar Disorder since my early teens. I have lived with Social Anxiety Disorder for even longer. I self-medicated with alcohol for over 20 years, that's how long it took to get a diagnosis. I'm open and honest about my mental health so hopefully one day the system will change. View all posts by darie73

3 responses to “MANCHESTER BY THE SEA~BEST PICTURE NOMINEE (*May Contain Spoilers*)

  • bethanyk

    This movie really affected me! Emotionally. Had me upset for days. The subject matter was very deep and reminded me of parts of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • darie73

      I had the same problem! At one point I thought I was reading too much into the story. His basement apartment being like a cell so he could punish himself. I driving myself crazy! Then I watched Nocturnal Animals and that was so complex that I was fixated on that! I’m glad I have movies sometimes it’s the only way I feel things or feel like I’m not alone.


    • bethanyk

      I see a lot of movies from my own point of view. The child really affected me because I felt like …ok get over your issues and take this boy. He needs to feel loved and wanted and not sent off to live with someone else. That part really upset me, then I got mad and I swear I was mad for 2 days over that!!! But then seeing it from the guys view of loss. I could read into it for days just kind of like what you said.

      Liked by 1 person

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