Manchester By The Sea

A film review

This won’t be a professional movie review, since I could only listen to the audio description. I’m sure the shots were nice. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but just wanted to make a few comments. I think it’s one of the better films of our time, because the story actually has something to say.

Now, just so we’re on the same page, that doesn’t mean I agree with every character’s actions, manner of speech, or whatever. I don’t even agree with my own actions or manner of speech half of the time though, to be fair.

I just found it refreshing to hear an noncookie cutter story, that isn’t predictable, where the character has problems, and they’re not necessarily resolved. Nobody comes to the rescue. There isn’t’ really any wonderful solution to the tragedy in his life.

The irony is, that he the unlikely hero, is coming to aid somebody else in their tragedy, but perhaps is helping himself to cope in the process.

Despite all that, I found the main character to be very likeable. He isn’t pretending to be somebody. He’s over all of that. Good man.

He just wants to make it through another day with as few more lumps as possible. He is trying to do the right thing though, and that’s very noble of him to try. It’s just there are some things in life where people can’t just bounce back from. You just have to deal with it and mitigate as much of the residual symptoms as possible. That’s really the best you can hope for, in this life at least.

I don’t know. It’s just the film came across as very realistic, and sort of gave a snapshot of what it’s like to live in New England, perhaps. I think it also provides insight of what some people are dealing with on a daily basis. Hopefully the film can induce some empathy these days. We certainly need it in our culture.

The acting was very good. I like the movies where you forget people are acting because it’s so natural. A lot of the dialogue, situations, and actions seem like they were pulled from actual events.

I think one of the main messages conveyed is that we can’t always fix things to our liking, or even achieve the solutions that are most ideal due to human limitations. However, we can do something of value. We all have trouble in this world, but how we respond to it says a lot more about us than what has happened to us.

Life, for a large part, is about human development and growth, being fruitful. It’s not as much about our preferences, or what we wish to happen. It’s about how we respond, and the good we do have power to manifest towards God and our neighbor.

I’d like to leave a couple of words of encouragement for you by Jesus here, from the Gospel of John that helps illustrate these principles:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Gospel of John 15:1–13



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