Manchester by the Sea

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Allow me to borrow the spot-on nickname for the miserable Cleveland Browns football franchise.  Manchester by the Sea is a gripping, extremely well made Factory of Sadness.  Set in the Massachusetts fishing town Manchester-by-the-Sea (yes, that’s actually the name of a real life town), it’s about grief and heartbreak and family and youth and forgiveness and blue collars and Boston accents.  If you’re at a loss for things that make you cry now that NBC’s Parenthood is off the air and the Redskins aren’t half bad, go ahead and watch this movie.  And it’s not all somber all the time.  There is some genuine humor intermixed with the despair, mostly thanks to a town filled with your classic Boston attitudes. (Sidenote: Film-wise I don’t think there’s another area of the country I’d rather spend two hours in.  The character of a Boston movie is just the best.  West Texas would be second.)

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Casey Affleck is getting a ton of Oscar buzz for his role as Lee Chandler and it’s deservedly so.  Apparently Matt Damon was originally slated to star (as well as direct) but he had to drop out completely due to The Martian. While I always appreciate Damon and his apples, I just can’t see anyone else doing a better job than the younger Affleck. And good for him, it must be tough when your significantly better looking big brother is The Batman.  Just like Ralph Wiggum, at one point you can almost pinpoint the second his heart rips in half.  Also starring Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams, and Lucas Hedges.  Tier 1 – RATED GREG

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