WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.
A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.
An uncle is obliged to return home to care for his nephew after his brother dies. Unknowing he is to be the guardian and struggles with the decision. Throughout the movie he recounts past memories that caused him to leave Manchester and distance himself from his past.
Matt Damon was initially set to direct and star in the film. Back in 2011, Damon, concerned about Kenneth Lonergan's 'horrible limbo', wanted to do something nice for his friend. So he sat in Lonergan's Manhattan apartment and pitched him an idea for a script about a New England handyman who ends up with custody of his dead brother's teen son - a story Damon thought would be right up Lonergan's dark alley. he idea for Manchester by the Sea actually was hatched by John Krasinski. Krasinski shared his nascent pitch with Damon over dinner in 2011 during the filming of The Adjustment Bureau (in which Damon co-starred with Krasinski's wife, Emily Blunt). They actually grew up a few bus stops from each other in Massachusetts - Damon in Cambridge, Krasinski in Newton. Damon liked Krasinski's idea so much, he considered not only starring in the film but also making it his directorial debut. They wasted no time heading to New York to pitch Lonergan. Embroiled in his Margaret troubles (the film was being held up from release by a lawsuit filed by producer Gary Gilbert, who was demanding a shortened re-edit that Lonergan was refusing to make) and committed to other stage projects, it took Lonergan a couple of years to get a first draft written. By then, Damon's schedule had filled up and he'd had second thoughts about directing the project, although he still wanted to star in it. Lonergan, meanwhile, finally had seen movement on Margaret (the film had a limited release in 2011; the court case was settled in 2014) and was starting to think about stepping behind a camera again. "He came back with this 150-page draft. It was too long, but it had everything that was in the movie." Damon urged Lonergan to make Manchester by the Sea his next directing job. Even with Damon still attached to star and produce, financing was hard to come by. And then, another blow: Damon had to drop out as the lead because of a slew of other commitments that would have delayed production for years. He recruited childhood friend Casey Affleck to take his place. See more »
In the emotional scene where Randi apologizes to Lee, her mouth sometimes can be seen moving from a back shot even though she is not talking. See more »
A man and a boy, one an uncle, one a nephew, are engaged in an intimate fishing lesson off the lake on Manchester, Connecticut. This melodic view takes us from here through the uncle's cold spiritual journey of knowing his place amidst the chaos of death.
Manchester by the Sea is written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan (Gangs of New York), whose hard work shows in how deep he is willing to dive into the darkest corners of everyone we meet throughout his record of memories. The lonely, depressed, recently divorced plumber we are invited to connect with has a lot coming at him; having lost his brother to cardiac arrest, and now left to be the only one left to take in custody of his now fatherless nephew.
From watching the heartbreaking flashbacks that depict the uncertainty of the plumber's path, to the humbling, somber performance by Casey Affleck (no tears necessary), all audiences suited for the well- earned R-rating will be greatly moved by its rough depiction of an everyday story within an everyday life.
What makes the chilling power of this deceptively simple story so powerful is the consistently cold feel that Lonergan maintains from start to finish. Being set in the northeast, snow appears all over to reflect the plumber's state of mind, and the cold is felt all the greater depending on the amount of stress tugging between him and his blood relatives. The screen's empty starkness takes its time to linger on the quietest of moments, screaming the loudest of internal noises without saying a word.
Manchester by the Sea could have easily taken place anywhere in the world, not necessarily in one particular small town in one particular part of the nation. What makes the Boston-Manchester setting work to its advantage is its subtle handling of the culture, right down to the look, feel, and taste of the area. The much-needed emphasis on father and son bonding through the quietness of fishing bookends the film with the one single image that defines everything valued by the people who live there. Also similar to last year's big Oscar-winner Spotlight, there is a clear presence of Catholicism guiding the lives of all Bostonians, whether or not they consider themselves religious. They claim that all Catholics are Christian, which is not entirely true, nor is it said so in the feature, but it works to the advantage of making the sense of hope they seek after touch much closer to home.
There are plenty of independent features out there that tackle the discomforting subject of family death and custody, but none of them handle it with the same level of detail, humanity, and personal application as Manchester by the Sea. It's not the feel-good holiday treat you may be looking for at this time of the year, but considering how family and tragedy essentially go hand-in-hand, Lonergan's scholarly study on the personal crisis will help countless others in what to do about a similar trauma.
Hence, I encourage all to see this masterful, humbling work when they get the chance to, but not just with anyone, with the relatives they are the closest to. That way, you can walk out of the theater together sharing the tears of your worst and best memories. If more movies had the power to do that, then Hollywood would at last be restored to its former glory.
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