It’s a fun coincidence that two of the best movies that are in the New York theaters at the moment are both set in the state of Massachusetts. I saw one yesterday and the other today. It’s a wonder I’m not talking in an accent that leaves out all the R’s by now, after such a double-dip of Massachusetts dialogue.
Both of the movies – Manchester by the Sea and Patriot’s Day – were awesome, though different.
Manchester is the fictional story of a man, haunted – for good reason – by his actions in the past, who “inherits” a teenage nephew, Patrick, when his brother dies. Unfortunately his brother never discussed naming him his son’s guardian before appointing him in his will, and it’s not what he’s up for… Casey Affleck is Uncle Lee, Michele Williams plays his ex-wife, and Lucas Hedges plays Patrick, heading a terrific ensemble cast in one of the most realistic movies I’ve ever seen. The scenery, in many of the shots, is spectacular. My one critique: the number of F-bombs dropped in this movie was way over-the-top, and hey, I’m no prude when it comes to foul language. I do, however, find it works more effectively when used for emphasis, not practically as conjunctions.
Patriot’s Day is not in wide-release yet, but it’s here and I saw it tonight. Patriot’s Day is a Massachusetts state holiday. It’s also the day of the Boston Marathon, and this movie covers the participants in the true story of the cowardly bombing of that event that took place in 2013. If you’re faint at heart, be warned: in order for the movie to remain true to the subject matter, there’s a lot of violence and graphic medical scenes. I’m usually pretty much of a toughie when it comes to seeing violence onscreen, but there were a few hospital scenes even I found unbearable. So avert your eyes, if need be, but then, keep watching. It’s fascinating to see how the police, FBI and first responders conducted their excellent investigation into the perpetrators. Mark Wahlberg stars as cop Tommy Saunders, and you’ll come out of this one feeling “Boston Strong!”