Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective.
I grew up in the Boston area, let's get out of the way. And like most people from that area, I'm not going to let you forget it, no matter how little you might care. Over the last decade or so, Massachusetts has really exploded in the cultural zeitgeist, whether it's the rise of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck or the pro sports teams doing so well or the tax breaks that has so many productions shooting there. We are seeing a lot more film and tv projects that take place in the Commonwealth. Seth Meyers, who spent formative years as a New Englander, made a great sketch about it on Late Night with his Boston Accent trailer. Ladies and gentleman, I think Manchester by the Sea is the real world version of that movie.
It also looks really good. Everyone's accent is pretty authentic except maybe Lucas Hedges, who plays the teenager that Casey Affleck assumes guardianship of after his brother (played by Kyle Chandler) passes away. But just because his accent isn't as good as the others doesn't mean his performance isn't amazing. We can get too distracted by accents (myself included) while the majority of the audience doesn't see a difference.
A lot of my benefit of the doubt comes from really appreciating what writer/direct Kenneth Lonergan did in You Can Count on Me, one of the best dramatic movies ever made. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. As a general rule, I don't like movies like this, which is usually just a lot of people talking in rooms and no one blowing anything up. However, the characters are so compelling and likable already. You're not just a janitor, Casey Affleck. You're a good person, just a little insecure like the rest of us! Manchester by the Sea has a genuine spirit that the filmmaker has certainly pulled off before.Things that can come across as corny in less artistic hands are raw and sincere here.
So I'll watch it. I'll be getting a seat in the mid to upper rows for the best view. Somewhere in the N row if you want to try and find me.