I haven’t really watched such a realistic film in a veeery long time…
Although, this movie will go in my records as not the best of the best films of 2016, it will surely keep its value over the years. Not only because of the two pivotal scenes (at least for me) in it – with Affleck in the Police station and with Affleck and Williams in the conversation from the screen which I post. But because of the overall feeling which this film piece relates to the viewer. This is reality, this is as close and as rough as it is.
I don’t necessary enjoyed every act of the performance of Casey Affleck, but he surely strikes us as a very believable “dead” living person. The story vehicle takes its time to reveal the cause of his miserable existence and we slowly dive into his “ashes”. I really liked all the supporting cast as well. Starting from his nephew, played by Lucas Hedges, going through Kyle Chandler (is the coincidence in the family names purposeful?) and all the other minor participants (Matthew Broderick and even the director – Kenneth Lonergan).
The background of the real Manchester town is reassuring that this whole story is happening where it should be. I cannot help but remember the great song by Billy Joel – “The Downeaster Alexa”:
“So I could own my Downeaster “Alexa”
And I go where the ocean is deep
There are giants out there in the canyons
And a good captain can’t fall asleep”
And yes – the musical coverage is great. We get the classical pieces at the right time, we feel the emotion overwhelming us at the right moments.
This movie is a slow ride, at times a bit dragging in the details. But we all forget where we park our cars and we have all been through the moments of choosing the right condom 🙂
Anyway, I wanted to emphasize on the two really meaningful moments for me which really grabbed me by the throat and made me remember this film – Lee Chandler’s breakdown at the police station and Randi’s remorse during their conversation towards the end of the film. I see them as emotional knots, culmination, nervous exit from a stalemate situation. And since we all reach such moments in our lives, when it’s all coming over the top, I feel that these two actors did their best. And they did it both subtly and extremely. The viewer correlates and empathizes in key moments with our main character. Kenneth Lonergan directs really well here and we see these actors strengths profoundly clear. What a wonderful lesson in cinema!
Of course I have to admit that Patrick’s character is really a separate center in this movie. You cannot help but feel sympathy for him throughout the whole film. His actions and words are thoughtfully adult amidst his uncle’s reserved and unresolved behavior. This is a film about losing and finding what is most precious in life. It is a movie about family, about time and about real life. It does not want to help you forget where you live and what you do in your every day routine. It stimulates you to do it better and not to lose your values and faith in good. It is a quiet story of ethereal meaning. The meaning of a lost and found reason to live.