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Monday July 15th 2024

Manchester By The Sea | 2016

Kenneth Lonergan’s quiet, downbeat drama scores by studiously avoiding histrionics or easy resolutions.

Brooding and withdrawn Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) glumly works as janitor in an apartment block in Quincy, Massachusetts. He’s on a short fuse and it doesn’t take much for him to start lashing out at a couple of guys he thinks are looking at him across the bar of his local.

This isn’t ‘Quincy’ at all but Fibber McGee's Bar and Grill, 102 Talbot Street in Beverly, about 15 miles northeast of Boston. In fact much of the film was shot in Beverly. When Lee receives a phone call about his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), that's exactly where he has to drive to.

By the time Lee arrives at Beverly Hospital, 85 Herrick Street, Beverly, he finds Joe has already died of a cardiac arrest.

Lee reluctantly continues on to the Manchester-by-the-Sea of the title, a few miles further east, to break the news to Joe’s son, and his nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges).

Lee catches up with Patrick in the middle of hockey practice, at Talbot Rink, ‘Home of the Vikings’, O'Maley Middle School, 32 Cherry Street in Gloucester.

When he drops Patrick off at school, though, it’s at Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea itself.

There’s a huge store in surprise at the reading of Joe’s will when Lee discovers he’s been appointed Patrick’s guardian. The solicitors’ office where he receives the news blankly, but is disturbed by flashbacks to the terrible event which haunts him from the past, is 48 Central Street at Pine Street, Manchester.

There follows conflict with Patrick over Joe’s boat, ‘Claudia Marie’, which is berthed at Beacon Marine Basin in Gloucester.

Lee and Patrick constantly butt heads over the grim practicalities while driving to the funeral home, Grondin Funeral Home, 376 Cabot Street in Beverly. Things don’t improve when it transpires that Joe will have to remain on ice until the ground has thawed enough for burial.

It’s on nearby Butman Street, alongside Central Cemetery, that Lee and Patrick realise they’ve forgotten where the car is parked. That’s not Joe’s intended resting place though.

Joe’s memorial service, during which Patrick’s phone starts buzzing, is held in Crowell Chapel, in Rosedale Cemetery, School Street, back in Manchester.

Lee is now faced with moving to Manchester and the problem of finding work.

After visiting Rose Marine Supplies, 375 Main Street in Gloucester, he climbs the narrow flight of steps on Herrick Court and bumps into his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams).

Lee is no closer to finding peace. Once again the tiniest incident in a bar sparks off an outburst of rage and, this time, Lee comes off worst.

This time it’s in Pratty's Bar, 10 Parker Street, Gloucester.

Joe, finally, is buried in Rosedale Cemetery. Arrangements are made for Patrick’s future, Lee returns to Quincy and life goes on.