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Manchester By the Sea

Can I just call my pick for screenplay now? I'm not even sure if it counts as original or adapted, but dang it, Manchester By the Sea is one of the best written films I've encountered. It was so beautiful and so human.

Okay, so let's get into it. Casey Affleck has to return to his small Massachusetts hometown when his brother (Kyle Chandler) dies. He's meant to be the guardian for his teenage nephew (Lucas Hodges), which is not something he's prepared for, and this town is not somewhere he wants to stay.

So here's why I loved the screenplay. One, the story itself was emotional and interesting. That quick summary is basically the surface of it; there was a whole other layer I wasn't expecting that dealt with Affleck's past. And oh boy it was intense. But even more so what I loved was the subtle humor. Even in some of the darker moments, the normal human reactions or unsuspecting glimpses of levity were brilliant. I'm not talking laugh out loud funny. I'm talking, a quick and quiet chuckle from me, but maybe not much reaction from the packed auditorium. And that's what felt so real to me. A film with heavy subject matter doesn't need to be all doom and gloom. We react with sarcasm and disbelief and a whole spectrum of responses.

It's easy for me to make such an early pick for screenplay since it's not one of the categories I'm most invested in. Those would be the acting ones. It's too soon to say if Affleck is gonna be my pick, but at the very least I do champion him for a nomination. Such a solid effort from him that's certainly praiseworthy.

Yeah so limited release right now, but hopefully wider soon, so check it out. I think the ratings for the other movies I watched this weekend were hurt in comparison since none of them were to the level of this movie. A bit more small-scale than I like my Best Pictures, but it's still a possible contender there too.

Manchester By the Sea - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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