November 27, 2016
Casey Affleck is outstanding as our tragic protagonist Lee Chandler, doing his best to cope with adversity at every turn. When his brother dies, Lee must return to his hometown and reconnect with his nephew Patrick as they grieve in tandem, while Lee is confronted with the skeletons he left behind.
Kenneth Lonergan meticulously wrote and directed an almost impressionistic operatic tragedy. We are allowed to put the pieces together on our own with a minimum of exposition. Except for one key emotional confrontation between Lee and his ex-wife (see photo), the important emotional moments are never discussed.
The cast is so authentic, they feel like they were pulled from the upper deck of a Bruins game.
Lucas Hedges is strong as the 16-year-old Patrick, and Michelle Williams is powerful as Lee's ex-wife.
Our only complaint was the score- the classical and operatic music cues are often intrusive and distracting, almost like they're trying to force the emotional point that the drama is already making. One scene, during a moment of good news, is set to a jaunty jazz score straight out of a Woody Allen movie!
I grew up in Boxford, about 15 miles west of Manchester By-The-Sea (my adolescence also closely resembled The Ice Storm*) so I can tell you this film is the most accurate depiction of wintertime in New England I've ever seen: bare trees, it snows a little bit every day, piles of snow that have melted and re-frozen, and one all-too-familiar scene where Lee and his nephew are stuck outside with no winter coats - New England winters are so long we get tired of wearing heavy coats and just give up after awhile. Lonergan sprinkled landscapes as seen from the road throughout, and he picked great exteriors that show off the unique villages of New England. This is a terrible movie to see in November as the winter snow is about to arrive! The last scene in the film takes place in April, and they shot one scene outdoors during that narrow window when the trees just begin to bud. I truly appreciated this attention to detail.
Really worth the trip. The movie will leave you with plenty to think and talk about.
Essential viewing. My grade: A.
Thanksgiving weekend with Emily at Fenway Screen 9, 7pm (movie started at 7:20) - thanks to Debbie D for babysitting!
*Coincidence: I saw The Ice Storm 19 years ago this week.
November 26, 2016
Visited the film for a third time- or is it fourth? With my Aunt Kathy from 10:30am until 11:15. I always find it funny to see this wide range of world cinema spanning decades, with Jason Statham sprinkled in. This segment also had scenes from Keira Knightley's Pride & Prejudice, Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets, and about 5 seconds of Four Weddings & A Funeral.
November 25, 2016
November 21, 2016
- "Fortress Around Your Heart" ~ Sting
- "Tenderness on the Block" ~ Warren Zevon
- "Milwaukee" ~ The Both (aka Ted Leo & Aimee Mann)
- "We Will Rock You" [fast live version] ~ Queen
- "Crumblin Down" ~ John Cougar Mellencamp
- "No Matter What" ~ Badfinger
- "Stay The Night" ~ Benjamin Orr
- "Wish You Were Here" ~ Nick Lowe & Paul Carrack
- "Only The Lonely" ~ The Motels
- "Talking In Your Sleep" ~ The Romantics
- "Harden My Heart" ~ Quarterflash
- "The Kids Are Alright" ~ The Who
- "Mandinka" ~ Sinead O'Connor
- "Lovely Rita" ~ The Beatles
- "Come Dancing" ~ The Kinks
- "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" ~ Bruce Springsteen
- "Will The Wolf Survive?" ~ Los Lobos
- "Head Above Water" ~ Hall & Oates
- "You Are" ~ Lionel Richie
November 16, 2016
November 12, 2016
There are a lot of parallels with Contact and Gravity, especially how the lead character is a woman whose traumatic history directly effects the current events.
If you're looking for a movie with Randy Quaid kamikaze-ing a mothership and Will Smith punching out a slimy alien, look elsewhere.
Highly recommended for a thought-provoking evening, if occasionally plodding and oblique. My Stub Hubby Grade: A-minus. Somerville Theater, Screen 1, with Adam.