Above: Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in 2016's Manchester By the Sea.Although it's a great film in many different ways, Manchester By the Sea isn't this year's best picture, nor is it a perfect movie. However, Casey Affleck gives one of the best performances of his career in the title roll and it's worth seeing just for him.
Beautifully directed by Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea is in it's own ways an unusual masterpiece. It's as if it's poetry in movie form, each scene is wonderfully shot and played through. It's so good that this heart stricken drama film doesn't need action to keep you interested in it's wonderful storyline.
Above all else though, the highlight of Manchester By the Sea is the acting. On top of the list and on true form is Casey Affleck as the lead roll, Lee Chandler. Casey Affleck gives a memorizing and all around powerful performance that will have people talking for years to come. It's by far the best acting he's ever done so far in his career, and the movie is worth watching just for his performance alone.
What's great about Manchester By the Sea is that there's great acting all around from everyone involved in the film, not just Casey Affleck (although he's by far the highlight). Michelle Williams does an always impressive job in whatever performance she plays, and there's no exception in this film. Even though she's only on screen for several minutes, she gives a great supporting performance that's worthy of an Oscar.
Newcomer actor Lucas Hedges does a great job as well playing Lee's nephew. His performance is even worth noting because it's pretty damn good for someone's first ever acting roll.
Despite all of these great things, Manchester By the Sea isn't perfect, nor is it unfortunately this year's best picture. You have to give it points for trying, but there's several negative things about it that drags the movie down.
The movie itself drags sometimes, and when it does, it's hard to pay attention to the story. Especially during the middle part of the film where the entire film seems to slow down to a crawl. However, it does pick up, and the ending is worth sticking around for.
Manchester By the Sea isn't your typical super hero, science fiction or action film. It's completely different and unique in it's own way, and deserves to be watched for all movie goers because of Casey Affleck's amazing performance.