Manchester by the Sea | American Men and Emotional Shut-Down


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I went to see Manchester by the Sea yesterday evening. Central London cinema. Quite excited. Heard lots of great stuff about the film. Really thought I’d love it. Didn’t.

To be clear, I thought the performances were excellent. I thought the cinematography was great. It’s just that the drama left me cold. I wanted to care.  I didn’t.

A quick thought that came to me during the film: may be I’m done with watching films about American guys going through tough times who are emotionally backward, who struggle to express what they’re going through. If I was meant to bawl in pity, and ache at the pathos, I didn’t. This may have something to do with Trump. In which case: America, may be we’re done give a sh*t about your stories, which would certainly be a thing.

In many ways, this film owed a lot to Good Will Hunting. Matt Damon was originally going to play the lead. But GWH offers so much more depth than this did. If you’re going to make a film about a guy numbed with grief, you need the film itself not to be numb.

That said, it’s been universally lauded by critics, and will probably win a bunch of Oscars, so what do I know? This much: La La Land was better, and I can’t wait to see Moonlight 😉