Manchester By The Sea:
Manchester By The Sea is a movie i was barely aware of.
it didn't penetrate my cultural bubble, though, admittedly, my cultural bubble is pretty hard to get through.
i don't have any friends and i don't have any access to commercials either on the TV or the internet.
Manchester By The Sea very well could have slipped right past me unnoticed like dozens and hundreds of other movies do a year, but then i read somewhere that it won a bunch of movie awards so now i figure i'm obligated to watch it.
i still had no idea what it could be about. comedy? horror? science fiction? western? who knows?

Manchester By The Sea is a story about Ben Affleck's kid brother who is a handyman in Boston with a pissy attitude.
have you ever seen a movie set in Boston where the main character was cheerful, good-natured and well-adjusted?
one day, Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother gets a call that his older brother has died and he has to drive out to the Massachusetts coast to make funeral arrangements and tend to his teenage nephew.
Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother only planed to stay in Manchester-By-The-Sea for a week or so to do funeral stuff but it turned out that his dead brother left him in charge of his son.
Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother tries to find anybody else to deal with the kid, but the kid's grandparents are dead and his mom is some kind of a crazy person.
Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother doesn't want to take on the job because, we learn through flashbacks, it turned out he had his own family but he got schlitzed one day and burned his house down, killing his three kids and causing his wife to leave him.
which is why he's so pissy. or at least part of the reason.
anyways, Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother hangs out with his teenage nephew for a while, they get along good enough, and then after a few months he makes arrangements for the kid to go live with some other guy. the end.

Manchester By The Sea was a pretty good movie, but it wasn't really about much of anything.
the only real conflict in the story is Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother's reluctance to take care of his nephew, but, that shouldn't really be that big of a deal.
i mean, sure, responsibility can be a shit, Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother was living a pretty plum life getting to be an apartment handyman in Boston, but, this is his nephew, his brother's son who he knew all the boy's life.
you would think a sense of obligation or just bacic human decency would be enough for Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother to shrug and say “well, i guess this is what i have to do now...” and that's the end of the movie.
also, how hard is it to be in charge of a teenager?
the boy in question isn't anything annoying like 13 or 14. he's a mature 16 and well-adjusted.
he's got friends and girlfriends and enough hobbies to keep him busy most of the time.
all Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother wouild have to do would be to live in the house that's already paid-for an make sure the kid doesn't get into too much trouble.
but, apparently that's too much for Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother because he's just so sad that he accidentally murdered his entire family
boo fuckin hoo, Ben Affleck's Pissy Kid Brother. sack up and take care of your nephew for a year or two like your dead brother wanted from you and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

for being a good movie about a shitty man shirking his familial responsibilities so he can wallow in his own self pity, Manchester By The Sea earns a 7.2/10.

Moonlight:
Moonlight penetrated my cultural bubble a little more then Manchester By The Sea, but only because one of the only ways i interface with the world is through 4Chan and 4Chan hates Black people.
so, i knew Moonlight was a movie about Black people, but that's about it.
i opted to take a pass on Moonlight because 'Black people' in general wasn't enough to pique my interest but then, like Manchester By The Sea, i heard word that Moonlight won a lot of awards so i had to go see what the fuss was about.

Moonlight is a movie in three parts about different stages of some guy's life.
the movie tells the story about a kid dealing, mostly unsuccessfully, with being Black and Gay and disadvantaged all at the same time.
it seems like these days, it's acceptable to be two of those things at any given time, but being all three is asking too much.

the first part of the movie is about the Guy when he is in middle school in Miami, Florida.
he is runty and gets picked on by his classmates. also, his mother is a crackhead.
eventually he is befriended by his mother's crack dealer who hangs out with him and is nice to him for a while, and that's all the first third of the movie is about.
the second part of the movie is about the Guy in high school, still in Miami, Florida.
he is still runty and still gets picked on by his classmates and his mother is still a crackhead.
after a while he meets another boy from school down at the beach and they have a nice night making out with each other and the Guy gets a hand job.
then, the next day in school, some bullies convince the hand-job giver to fight the Guy because that's what bullies do.
the day after that the Guy comes into school and smashes a chair over his bully, fucking him up an getting hauled off by the law in the process.

the third art of the movie is about the Guy as an adult.
he is big and jacked and sells drugs for a living in Atlanta.
his mother is in rehab now, but that doesn't matter.
anyway, one day the Guy gets a call from his old high school friend who gave him a hand-job once.
it had been ten years since they last spoke but the guy decides to drive back down to Miami to pay his friend a visit.
his friend looks at the Guy and wonders what the fuck happened to him, why he is so big and so hard now.
eventually, the Guy says that he's never been with a man or anybody, except for that one night he got a hand job on the beach.
the movie ends with the Guy and his buddy having a cuddle.

Moonlight was a good movie but more then that, it was a sad movie.
it was a movie about how shitty life is for some people sometimes.
the main character was quiet most of the time from years and decades of accumulated trauma.
which made the movie really quiet, and made you feel bad for anybody who tried to have a conversation with him.
but, that's how traumatized kids are sometimes.
it is important to tell stories like Moonlight from time to time, to remind comfortable people about how shite some people have it sometimes, in the hope that maybe somebody will do something about it all.

for being a sad story but a story that ought to be told, for being a story about trauma and what it does to people, for being a story about the unacceptable conditions people are allowed to live in but also, for being a movie about a guy's roundabout quest to get himself a hand job, Moonlight earns a 7.7/10.

//[ab irato ad atra]
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October 2017

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