Depression. So much depression. Also sadness. Ridiculous amounts of sadness. Did I mention the ennui?
BQB here with a view of the Oscar nominated cry fest, Manchester by the Sea.
SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read ahead if you don’t want spoilers and honestly, if you are clinically depressed or have psychiatric problems or something you probably will just want to skip this movie altogether. I’m pretty stable myself and even I feel like blowing my brains out after watching it.
Tragedy forces Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) to leave his hometown of Manchester by the Sea. Years later, the death of his brother forces him to return. Ultimately, this hairy, mumbly, yeti looking prick must decide whether he will step up to the plate and raise his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges) or if the bad memories of his past will be too much for him to remain.
Lee is a grumpy douche. Patrick is a grumpy douche. For the two plus hours of the movie, you sit there and watch all sorts of things happening in excruciating detail, often too much detail, and you hope that at some point these two douches will realize that they are all the other has got and I guess I won’t spoil it for you by telling you whether or not they ever do but eventually a conclusion happens and it’s such a long road to get there that you will have probably grown a Casey Affleck beard by the time it happens.
Casey’s Oscar is well deserved though at times the film feels like a parody of the type of film that draws Oscar attention in the first place. Start with sadness. Add in some extra sadness. Spoon in more sadness. Drop it all on a sad plate with a side of sad fries.
The main theme of the film is that life goes on even after tragedies occur. If you know someone who seems like a douche, maybe they didn’t set out to become a douche. Maybe something tragic happened to turn them into a douche. Maybe they can’t stop being a douche no matter how hard they try due to the memories of whatever happened to turn them into a douche. Maybe deep down inside they don’t want to be a douche anymore they can’t help it and it isn’t as simple as telling them to just stop being a douche.
If you aren’t a douche, congratulations, maybe you have just been lucky enough to have never experienced a douche creating tragedy. Maybe just be happy about that and try not to crap on people who have been douche-ified by circumstances they didn’t ask for.
Life goes on and those who have experienced a tragedy often wonder how the world is carrying on when something bad has happened to them. Bottomline – you don’t matter much to the whole world, but the world that comprises the circle around your life matters to you. Somehow you keep going but you aren’t the same and to everyone else, you’re just some douche because they don’t understand what you have been through.
Michelle Williams of Dawson’s Creek fame plays a she douche. She also experienced tragedy and must carry on despite the douche-ifying aftermath. Her nomination was deserved.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Don’t watch it if you don’t want to lose a good mood. The only reason to watch this film is maybe if you are an actor and you can’t cry on cue. Just pop this film on before you go on stage and bam waterworks city.