Movie Review by Fr. Tom Condon, O.P.
Manchester by the Sea plumbs the depths of human grief and sadness. It’s a tough film to watch, yet it’s honest. The movie’s characters are flawed, but real. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns that they must deal with. Grace is at work in the movie. But, as with life, grace works gradually, over time, offering hope.
As the movie opens, Lee (Casey Affleck) works as a custodian in a Boston apartment building, dealing with tenants, shoveling snow, and living alone in a one-room apartment. Through flashbacks, we learn that Lee was once married to Randi (Michelle Williams), with three children. Life seemed happy then. Now in his small apartment, Lee is stoic and sad. He walks with shoulders slumped, looking down. Lee is the kind of guy who goes to bars, drinks too much, and gets into fights.