Manchester by the Sea
Nov. 18, 2016 USA 135 Min. R
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In Manchester by the Sea, The story takes place in the present while injecting the narrative with a series of flashbacks that inform the viewer about significant events from the past and the characters’ motivations. The protagonist is Lee Chandler, a janitor and handyman in Quincy, Massachusetts, who lives a solitary life in a basement apartment.
The movie opens to various scenes of him performing a variety of tasks for the tenants of the apartment complex where he works. Even so, his interaction with the tenants is minimal. After being reprimanded by his boss for swearing at an irritated tenant, he gets into a drunken bar fight with two businessmen because he believes they were “looking” at him.
While shoveling snow, Lee receives word that his brother Joe has suffered cardiac arrest. Joe dies before Lee can get to the hospital, and Lee insists on being the one to tell Joe’s teenage son, Patrick, about Joe’s death. While making funeral arrangements, they learn that Joe’s body cannot be buried until spring when the ground thaws, and it needs to be kept refrigerated until then, so Lee remains in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts until the delayed burial. While reading Joe’s will with Joe’s lawyer, Lee is shocked to discover that Joe named him Patrick’s guardian.
During the scene, the viewer is shown—through flashbacks—that Lee once lived in Manchester with his then-wife Randi and their three small children, until his negligence while intoxicated led to a house fire that killed the children. No criminal charges were filed against him; however, after being questioned at the police station, Lee pulled a gun from a police officer’s holster and attempted suicide. In light of these events, Lee remains reluctant to commit to the guardianship and unwilling to move back to Manchester, where the locals treat him as an outcast.
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Original title Manchester by the Sea
IMDb Rating 7.9 168,767 votes
TMDb Rating 7.5 1749 votes