This is my review of Manchester By The Sea [DVD].
Lee Chandler is forced to abandon his work as a Boston caretaker to deal with a family crisis back in the small town of Manchester on the New England coast, a far cry from its English namesake. Through a series of flashbacks, we gradually piece together the tragedy which destroyed his life as a loving family man, if over-fond of calling his mates round for drinking sessions into the small hours. We begin to understand what drove him away from Manchester in the first place, and numbed his emotions, so that they can only be expressed in occasional destructive outbursts.
Perhaps a little too slow-paced in parts, this realistic and subtle film, by turns painfully moving but also amusing, explores how people react to life stings and arrows. Lee has had more than his fair share of misfortune, and suffers from the inability to communicate his feelings, but his essential decency and perseverance arouse our sympathy and ultimately respect.