Take a look at how the movie Manchester by the Sea made an impact as we discuss one of its impactful scenes.

When discussing a movie or a show we always have that ‘one scene’ which manages to take the cake. The scene that left an impact and was the reason behind the whole plot coming together. It brings out the essence of storytelling and gifts us with a range of emotions. Honestly, it is hard to imagine that movie without that particular scene. With #KetchupCut we wish to enter into such conversations and appreciate the beauty of filmmaking. The first movie in discussion is Manchester by the Sea.

The subtle art of bringing realism on screen, the movie is an example of what less is more means. Any form or way of appreciating this Oscar-winner would only be an understatement. And the reason behind it being our first choice was the theme that the movie chose to discuss – grief and death. The fact that Manchester by the Sea celebrates and talks about grief in the most realistic way makes it one of the best family dramas.

About the movie:

Director – Kenneth Lonergan
Cast – Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol
Writer – Kenneth Lonergan
Genre – Drama
Where to stream – Amazon Prime Videos

Manchester by the Sea is about a depressive loner punishing himself for all the tragedies in his life. He chose to live a sad life to cope with the loss that he has suffered in his life. The story follows Lee Chandler, played by Casey Affleck, who works as a janitor. He is informed about his brother Joe, played by Kyle Chandler, suffering from a cardiac arrest, but he passes away before reaching the hospital. Lee is then responsible for breaking the news to Joe’s son Patrick, played by Lucas Hedges. Lee’s misery revolves around him having to live with the fact that he accidentally killed his kids and that the law pardoned him for it. On realizing at the lawyer’s office that his brother made him Patrick’s legal guardian, Lee clarifies that he doesn’t want it. Not because he doesn’t love Patrick but because he is too scared to do it. The movie then continues to show the after-effects of the death of a close one, dealing with the uninvited responsibilities and grief.

Ketchup Cut:

The scene in talks is Joe’s funeral. Sure the movie is a beautiful masterpiece with a set of carefully crafted scenes that depict real-life incidents; the scene at the funeral deserves mention. It is a simple scene from the latter parts of the movie where Lee and Patrick are joined by the people that they know in their moments of saying goodbye to Joe.

Character anatomy – For a character that is emotionally constipated, Lee has a bunch of emotions during and while this scene. The audiences only get to see very little change in Lee’s character. From being a fun uncle to shut himself inside a shell after the accident. We get to see him lacking the ability to interact in public and start conversations. Lee during and after the funeral is someone who has tried to find peace and make an effort to open up. He has already expected the fact that Joe is gone, his thoughts are jumbled up with the fact that his wife has remarried and that she has a kid of her own now. All he wants is to be over with all the rituals and get back and away from the city which was a poignant reminder of his past.

The best part about the scene is how the director was able to sneak in small funny elements into an abyss of sadness and misery. Memorials in movies are always, we would say, perfect. Sadness is given all the importance it needs. Lonergan, however, presented an accurate depiction of what a memorial actually looks like. In the scene at George’s home when we see Lee cornering himself from the crowd. George reaches out to him and asks him if he needs anything. George then calls out his wife in between the public, and not being able to hear what he is saying is something we have all seen in real life. Also, Randi’s baby crying while the funeral proceeding happens while Lee awkwardly stands there is another example of an excellent screenplay. The scene also brings closure to Lee’s struggle to have to be responsible for someone else for a long time. Although he was never ready to take up the responsibility and hands it over to his friend, he tries to find a place in his heart to give Patrick a chance and be his uncle.

About Manchester by the Sea:

Casey Affleck while describing Kenny Lonergan’s writing said, “Kenny’s got a way of writing that speaks to people and feels very personal and intimate. It reflects something in their life. He has an uncanny ability to make it feel like he is giving you a whole worldview. It’s in the writing too. He wouldn’t just use very simple descriptions.” Read the complete interview on Deadline.

Director Kenneth Lonergan is someone who has given grief and location new importance. His other movie Margaret also shed light on the same. Talking about including locations into the plot he said to Dazed, “The locations are so important to the life they lead. This film, which is set in a small fishing community that’s also a resort community for wealthy Bostonians; the more I was working on it, the more the place became integrated into the content. An important element is a boat that the kid wants to be on; the fact he wants to pursue a career in fishing, but the one- or two-man fishing vessel is on its ways out.”

Fun Facts:

The story was brought to Kenneth Lonergan by actor and film-maker John Krasinski and Matt Damon.

Matt Damon wanted to act and direct the movie but the complications in his dates led to Lonergan directing it.

Before releasing it theatrically the movie was screened in a number of film festivals.

It is also one of the first-ever film released by a streaming site to receive an Oscar nomination.

The movie has been affiliated with a number of awards and recognitions and the list is just overwhelming:

  • Academy Awards – won Best Actor for Affleck, Best Original Screenplay. Nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Hedges, Best Supporting Actress for Williams and Best Director.
  • British Academy Film Awards – won Best Actor in a Leading Role for Affleck and Best Original Screenplay. Nominated for Best Film, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Williams, Best Direction and Best Editing.
  • Critics’ Choice Awards – won Best Actor for Affleck, Best Young Performer for Hedges and Best Original Screenplay. Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Hedges, Best Supporting Actress for Williams and Best Acting Ensemble.
  • Golden Globe Awards – The film won Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for Affleck. Nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for Williams, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
  • Satellite Awards – Won Best Film and Best Director. Nominated for Best Actor for Affleck, Best Supporting Actor for Hedges, Best Supporting Actress for Williams, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score.

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