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Thread: Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)

  1. #26
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    Well, that just about destroyed me. I am glad to have the theater to myself (I had a day off and it was the first showing) because I was having almost-Michelle Williams-sized emotional reaction at two or three points.
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  2. #27
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
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    That Michelle Williams scene just rings false. It's pure fantasy. Anyone who has ever been dumped, secretly wishes that person would come crawling back to them. But it just doesn't make sense. If you look at their relationship before the fire she is miserable. All she does is nag him, and all he does is drink. This was already a doomed relationship.

  3. #28
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Rico (view post)
    That Michelle Williams scene just rings false. It's pure fantasy. Anyone who has ever been dumped, secretly wishes that person would come crawling back to them. But it just doesn't make sense.
    From personal experience this is 100% false. (x2)

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  4. #29
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    Wow, that is a completely different take of their past from me. I liked that Williams created quite a feeling of full character from those few scenes that expand beyond them. In the first, she was just a little exasperated (and with a big flu) from Affleck joking around, but hardly miserable, while in the crucial one she's just pissed off to be woken in the middle of the night. Around that bare thread of flashbacks I sensed quite a lot of fondness between them. What I get from the present scene between them is more about her enormous guilt at having moved on while he can't, and her feeling that she contributed a big part of this on him during the divorce.
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  5. #30
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Rico (view post)
    That Michelle Williams scene just rings false. It's pure fantasy. Anyone who has ever been dumped, secretly wishes that person would come crawling back to them. But it just doesn't make sense. If you look at their relationship before the fire she is miserable. All she does is nag him, and all he does is drink. This was already a doomed relationship.
    There's a lot more going on between them than a simple breakup, and this post makes no sense at all.

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  6. #31
    Quote Quoting Ezee E (view post)
    There's a lot more going on between them than a simple breakup, and this post makes no sense at all.
    Especially because (a) it is obviously not Lee's fantasy that she come crawling back to him, seeing as he can't even process what she is saying and it doesn't bring him any relief at all, (b) she is not crawling back to him in the first place, and (c) in no way does the movie present her as miserable before the turn of events.

    It's such a weird misreading of what is going on.

    Overall, this is very good, with an excellent balance of humor and bone-deep grief. However, Lonergan really is a sloppy filmmaker - it worked for Margaret because the baggy editing and thundering music cues dovetailed nicely with the main character, a teenage girl who is all over the place emotionally. Here, some of the digressions work (like the drummer; it neatly gives the environment layering), but the editing has moved closer to inept than to impressionistic (like the pointless extra shot of Lonergan's cameo) and he's still not really sure where to put the camera. And the opera music is actively alienating.

    BUT: like his other two films, he knows how to tap genuine emotion and to set up scenarios in which rich characters can spark off each other.
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  7. #32
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    This is a superior drama, I think, that shows a deep understanding of character and specially dialogue. I like how most of the key dramatic moments also have some dark humor going on that flows naturally from the performances and the banter. Affleck totally deserved his award. Lonergan's strenght is writing and not visuals but I found the editing of the film works very well with the movie's themes - it's overly long and exhausting but so are the aftermaths of a death in the family. The fire development, which in a lesser filmmaker's hands would feel like a soap opera or a corny melodrama, was very natural here, and there was a detail in that scene (the nurses who failed to raise the stretcher) which was very bold in its gruesomeness.

    I agree there are some details I disliked, and the dream sequence was one of them. But part of me thought, even as the scene played out, that it would have worked a lot better if the two girls had remained silent instead of uttering a Horror movie line.

  8. #33
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Remind me what the dream sequence was again?

    Btw, I said the same thing about dark humor. So I agree!

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  9. #34
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Remind me what the dream sequence was again?
    [
    ]

    I have a tiny wee doubt about the legal consequences of the fire. The cops tell him they're not going to crucify him, but surely in a situation like this there's a long trail and probably some jail time, right? I'm not really knowledgeable about US law.

  10. #35
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    Quote Quoting Grouchy (view post)
    I have a tiny wee doubt about the legal consequences of the fire. The cops tell him they're not going to crucify him, but surely in a situation like this there's a long trail and probably some jail time, right? I'm not really knowledgeable about US law.
    The way it works is that cops write a police report then send it to the District Attorney's office, and prosecutors there decide if they should file criminal charges. If they do, then the trial process would start. The scene in the police station was them letting Lee know that they decided not to charge him with anything because they feel bad for him. If that's what they decide, then there's nothing else to do.
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  11. #36
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    So cool and weird to suddenly see Ferris Bueller.

    great movie though.
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    • Hudson Hawk (Lehmann, 1991) [+]
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    • Leviathan (Cosmatos, 1989) ✦✦ [-] -- rewatch
    • The Remains of the Day (Ivory, 1993) ✦✦✦½ [-]
    • The Call of the Wild (Sanders, 2020) ✦✦ [+]
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    ====================
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