Manchester By The Sea is one of the best reviewed movies of the year. But while I enjoyed the film, I wasn’t quite as over the moon about it as everybody else seems to be.
One thing that was a little weird to me was the tone. There were a number of comedic moments to be found in what would typically be classified as a straight up drama. At least the dialouge is very well written. I do admire the screenplay, but it’s in a ‘we’re gonna rob Zootopia of an Oscar but it’s cool’ kind of way.
Much like Loving, this film feels like a very safe Academy choice. A lot of people say that the Gotham Awards and Spirit Awards for Best Picture are close between this film and Moonlight. Of the two, I prefer Moonlight, for feeling like a more important film, and for taking more risks.
The film does include a duo of strong performances by Casey Affleck and newcomer Lucas Hedges. Both of them play characters who hold their grief inside, so their Oscar scenes come across as more subtle than in most films. However, I am uncertain if Michelle Williams has enough there to earn an Oscar nomination.
I thought that this was a good, strong film. But I probably won’t be watching it again and again like a lot of 2016 films. I’m glad I saw it, but I’ve definitely seen better.