Manchester by the Sea : Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

The first half hour was nothing, totally unnecessary.
M. Williams was onscreen maybe 8 minutes total, and she was the best one in it.
C. Afleck wasn't good at all but the script made him lifeless.
there was nothing to his character, except a bit of history shown in one of too many flashbacks.
The language was never natural, just foul words used over and over.

Everyone in the theater hated it.

It has no ending, so no spoilers to even give out.
It just stops.

How did anyone even like this. i felt like leaving but kept saying that it must get better, it's just a slow start, slow first half, no it must have a great ending. No.


Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

But yet it has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and is about to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Maybe you just don't know much about what makes up a decent movie?

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Actually, I'm a writer, trained and dedicated. I prefer novels but have written screenplays....and this had not one thing I liked. How did it get past the first desk without rejection? I'm in shock that critics liked this? Are there two different versions of this film? There isn't any character arc! The main event in his life was way in the past. Is this the Fischer King? What?

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You say you're a writer yet you think this? Remind me never to see a movie of yours.
Sorry, but you walked into that - and a good writer should anticipate reaction.

Well, guess what? I'm a writer, too, and I found Manchester exceptional and marvelled at its subtle character arc: up, then way down into darkness, followed by slow, agonized steps out of the abyss.
Lee and Patrick fishing at the end, harking back to the fishing for "shahks" at the beginning, rounds out a perilous emotional journey. Lee has come a long way from his moment in the police station.


Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)


Lee has come a long way


How? He still can't talk about it.
He can't talk to his ex.
He still swears all the time and is rude.
He still starts fights in bars for no reason.
He refuses to help his nephew (only offering him a place to stay for the weekend)
There's no arc at all.


Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)


He refuses to help his nephew (only offering him a place to stay for the weekend)
There's no arc at all

If you really think that's all that was going on, I can't help you.
But, Lee no longer wants to put a bullet through his brain and he no longer plans to rip Patrick away from the only life he has ever known. It became clear when Lee got the idea to sell the guns to pay for a motor for the boat.
Oh, look. Arc.

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Selling guns that belonged to his brother isn't arc at all.
He only wanted to kill himself that first day.
The only reason he isn't "ripping Patrick away" is because he doesn't care enough to be his guardian. That's an utter lack of progress. Zero arc.

His ex-wife changes and expresses her regret for condemning him. But again, he can't even talk about it. Zero progress. He moves back to Boston...zero change/arc/progress.


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Zero change, right. He goes back to Boston to get a place with a guest room. Change.
You sound like you think Lee should become someone new, an Ebenezer Scrooge handing out turkeys to Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. Lee Chandler is a devastated man back in the town in which he was devastated doing his best for his nephew with his damaged emotional resources.
Give up your faintly ridiculous hatred for this film, or at least stop talking about it. People who got something out of its emotions, actions, dialogue and ramifications don't care about your opinion. I've spent considerable time talking about this film with people who embrace it. You simply telling them they are wrong goes nowhere.
I understand in your mind we must all be fools too ignorant to realize there's nothing there at all and simply concocting ridiculous theories based on our own delusions. It's our fault for not seeing things your way. I apologize.

Hate the film because it's relentlessly sad, not because it's artistically incompetent. It isn't. It's brilliant.

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I agree about the guest room. It was subtle but meaningful.

Loved this movie. The direction was masterful, not to mention the acting.

Can't stop thinking about it.

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You are lost and confused.
Writing a good film is not about 'what I expect'. It is based on the very definition on good writing.

Also, "I'm going to abandon you as your guardian and move away...but you can sleep in a bed if you visit me" is nowhere near 'character arc.'

You need a college course on film for education. You are simply spouting opinion (which is your right but it flies in the face of film making.)

This isn't the first film without character arc. I'm sure the writer would probably have said that the character doesn't change to reflect 'reality'. Some people don't change. It just makes for a boring picture. Nothing really happens in this story. The only event is prior to this story as shown in a flashback. (another poor script action.)

And, speaking of reality, you legally can not make someone a guardian without them signing a legal document. You don't bequeath guardianship for your kids in a single line in a will like you can for your car.

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To each his own, but you are offering nothing to even bother thinking about.
PS, I've not only taken college courses on film, I've taught them, which doesn't really mean anything, only that it is highly presumptuous of you to assume anything about me. But, yes, I'm lost and confused because I liked a movie you didn't.

Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)


yes, I'm lost and confused


You are only saying you disagree.
You've not brought out anything noteworthy about the film.
I've addressed a lot of what was lacking, and I didn't harp on bad acting, just the writing is my perspective.
Your attempts at finding a character arc have completely failed.

You should be okay with having liked a film that was so poorly written. but if you feel the need to substantiate that, by all means go on.


Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

OK, whatever you say.

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He apparently prefers cliched, formulaic scripts, instead of ones that follow a life realistically. This isn't a story that should be tied up in a neat little bow at the end. The tragedy in his life isn't something that will just go away. If he changed his mind and decided to stay with his nephew I think that would have betrayed his character. He made the best arrangements he could for his nephew and that is the right ending for this movie.

I also write screenplays.

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No matter the awards, this was still horrendous.

But, LaLaLand was even worse.

Split...best movie of the year.

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Wait...after that comment I can't tell if you're a troll or not

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I guess subtlety isn't your thing if you need everything to be said, outlined and showed again. Casey Affleck's character transformation was obvious but it doesn't mean that he's recovered entirely from his tragedy.

______________________________________
The higher you fly, the faster you fall.

Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

Then explain, Captain Obvious
Also, refute my observations.

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Lonergan made this film for his own entertainment and while he appeared well intentioned, it just doesn't cut it as a whole for me. I liked MARGARET better, in spite of that films over-indulgences. It gripped me more.

Don't eat the whole ones!...Those are for the guests. 🍪

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Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

He actually moves to Charlestown, which is much closer (literally and figuratively). And insists that his new place have 'a room' (again - literal and figurative) for Patrick.

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Yes, Charlestown - my bad - and the "room" was part of his growth.

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I loved this and LA LA Land.
Manchester by the sea was very emotive for me. I have a new found appreciation of Casey Affleck (this is the best film he has done in my opinion), I would also like to see more of Lucas Hedges.
I want either Andrew Garfield or Casey Affleck to win the best actor Oscar.

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If you really think he didn't want to be his guardian because he didn't care, then you absolutely have to watch the movie again... you obviously missed huge details! jeez, i mean, you proclaim to be a writer, of screenplays no less.

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Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

the-author, exactly, I agree with you!! I saw this today and it dawned on me as I was talking to someone else what the problem was: Lee was a flat character, not a round character. Writing 101. Flat characters do not make interesting main characters. In fact, you can usually tell who the main character is supposed to be beCAUSE they are a round character, ie, they go through some kind of actual change or arc. Lee didn't. He was dead inside when it began, and he was dead inside when it ended. All the reasons you said. I mean okay, he helped the kid get the motor. that still wasn't a change. He liked the kid beforehand too. That was a part of his beginning-character traits.

No arc. It's like we watched 2h17 minutes just for the point to be: nope, apparently, he is beyond repair, or is still beyond repair at this moment. That doesn't make an interesting story. I mean I went and got my hair cut yesterday, that's not exciting. Does it mean nothing in my life is? No, I've had some drama and arcs. But why make a movie for the boring part where he does NOT develop or change. It was just like oh look, he's dead inside and moping. His brother dies. He is offered a chance at redemption several times (taking care of the kid, accepting Randi's apology and going to lunch with her). But no. We're left with him still being a dead inside moping kinda-dick. His response even to the kid saying he probably won't go to college (thus not needing the room in Boston) wasn't "oh, why do you say that" or "oh what are your plans." No, just "Well I'll put my *beep* in there then. Do we need to talk about this now?" Uh, okay, fu- then. Lol. That's not to say he'll never ever change, but the movie focused on him just continuing to be the same and that's just not very interesting storytelling to me.

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...the problem was: Lee was a flat character, not a round character...Flat characters do not make interesting main characters...a round character...go through some kind of actual change or arc. Lee didn't. He was dead inside when it began, and he was dead inside when it ended...He is offered a chance at redemption several times...But no. We're left with him still being a dead inside moping...the movie focused on him just continuing to be the same and that's just not very interesting storytelling to me.
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👏 Affleck was great at playing dead inside though, and I liked watching him. As for everything else you have said regarding character arc and not rounding things out, it can leave a bitter taste behind. Lonergan kept us sitting on our behinds for 2hrs 20mins and it can make us feel like he has played a long shaggy dog story on us that doesn't end with much of a point or a satisfactory\convincing resolution.

Don't eat the whole ones!...Those are for the guests. 🍪

Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)


...the problem was: Lee was a flat character, not a round character...Flat characters do not make interesting main characters...a round character...go through some kind of actual change or arc. Lee didn't. He was dead inside when it began, and he was dead inside when it ended...He is offered a chance at redemption several times...But no. We're left with him still being a dead inside moping...the movie focused on him just continuing to be the same and that's just not very interesting storytelling to me.




a long shaggy dog story


Thank You I'm glad not everyone is talent blind.
As for SD, I hope some will Google it, as most won't know what that is.

Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)


subtle character arc: up, then way down into darkness, followed by slow, agonized steps out of the abyss.


Nailed it. OP apparently failed to pick up on the subtle character development consistently evolving between the two main characters.

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blacknyellowsquid Thank You.

This film isn't so much whether one hates it or loves it.
I wrote this thread because it was poorly written and only one reviewer said this film was unsatisfactory with a poor acting job.

To jawn: There is no subtle character arc. The only view to assume is that Casey's character is unchangeable. He is permanently gone. He will always be a depressed lost soul. So then, Casey played a swearing lifeless character perfectly.

With this view, the flaw in the film is that the lack of arc (being deliberate) needs some attention. We need to know why he can't recover, even slightly. Why can't he even be civil to Patrick's girl's Mom? Why does he still punch people in the face? (and not get arrested?)

Showing the fire as a flashback was, in retrospect, a huge error. This story needed to be shown in a linear fashion. Sure they raised some mystery as to why everyone in town said, "Oh, that's him?" But, I think by the time they revealed it, it did not have the impact it would have had if we started with 'happy' Eric and then saw his journey.

Glad some of you enjoyed it. I tend to overthink it, knowing most scripts like this wind up in the trash, unless you have some real connections.

Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)



There is no subtle character arc. The only view to assume is that Casey's character is unchangeable. He is permanently gone. He will always be a depressed lost soul. So then, Casey played a swearing lifeless character perfectly.


Right, haha...I mean, then...maybe that IS the point? I don't know, it just didn't do much for me, the movie. Like you said, if that was their point, they should have developed other things more or...something. It just seemed like we watched "nope he's still not ready yet." Uh, okay? I'm not even convinced that he'll NEVER change...the movie just focused on a time when he still wasn't ready to. Who knows...

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Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

It wasn't a Hollywood Studio picture produced by Matt Damon...that's all it takes.


~I see a little silhouette of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango.

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Think you need to go back to writing school. You obviously don't know a good story when you see one

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People's taste differs. Just the way it is. I could not get halfway through La La Land. Other people loved it. I liked this film, other people hated it. Sometimes it's just a matter of taste*.

(*Minor objections aside - meaning that when we like something, it does not mean that there aren't things we would change about it if we could, it just means we appreciated the overall experience).

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I loved both this AND La la Land. I'm going to be torn come Oscar time. Manchester for its intensity, breadth and poetry, La La Land also for its poetry but also for its exuberance and ambition, not to mention the catchy tunes.

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Arc, schmarc. Enough with the 'arc' already. This was a great, very subtle film--so subtle, in fact, that it went way above the heads of those who only respond to obvious formulaic, by-the-number character development.

But if you insist, let's discuss 'arc'. Perhaps you failed to notice Lee's gregarious, life-loving personality and behavior with his wife and three kids in flashbacks. Compare this to the present-day apathetic, nihilistic Lee Chandler: did you miss the "arc" ?

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..and this had not one thing I liked.

I second this - apart from Michelle Williams' contribution.
The story and characters were dreary, lifeless, predictable and dull. And I say this as a big admirer of 'You can Count On Me'.

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Maybe this is why your screenplays aren't oscar nominated ;)

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How did it get past the first desk without rejection?
____________
Matt Damon's influence. It's a who you know scenario and yes, it's not like the film had no ending, it just stopped. Perhaps they are waiting to inflict part 2 on us.

Don't eat the whole ones!...Those are for the guests. 🍪

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Please leave RottenTomatoes out of this. That score is a smorgasbord of legitimate critics and a bunch of wannabes who knew who to start and promote a wordpress site. I lost all respect for them when they gave Selma a 99%. That film was trash and the Academy didn't think much of it either.

Spotlight Academy Award® Winner for Best Picture of 2015

Re: Terrible, terrible film (no spoilers)

Selma was not ''trash'' and the critics no more than you do.

''What's up suicidal slut?''

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Maybe. But they don't know more about the art of cinema than I do and Manchester was an insanely overrated borefest.

Get off your soapbox while I play you a tune on the tiniest violin.

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But they don't know more about the art of cinema than I do


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While I don't totally agree with the original poster...FLICK rotten tomatoes and the horse it rode in on.


~I see a little silhouette of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango.

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RottenTomatoes?? Are you joking? We're talking about sissy-merry critics who would rate the next Godfather or Taxi Driver low because they star bad people instead of goody-goody, cookie-cutter heroes. Due to their own bias and subjectivity, those critics have ZERO credibility today. They care more about pushing agendas than the art of cinema today.

Get off your soapbox while I play you a tune on the tiniest violin.

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We're talking about sissy-merry critics who would rate the next Godfather or Taxi Driver low because they star bad people instead of goody-goody, cookie-cutter heroes.


You're wrong.

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Taxi Driver: 99%
The Godfather: 99%

Plot hole - Aspect of a film that is misunderstood or missed while using your smart phone.

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Like "Boyhood?" Another completely overrated movie that rightfully lost at the Oscars and now is forgotten. It won't win BP. That will go to either La La Land or Moonlight.

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I thought the movie was amazing. It was easily the best movie I've seen all year. It felt like I was watching real life happen. The acting was amazing (I actually thought Williams was the weakest of the ensemble, Affleck and Hedges being the best) and the script was the best writing of the year. Definitely gonna watch this again and many times in the future.
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