I went into this film expecting too much I think. It’s getting unheard-of high scores on all the major rating sites. It didn’t merit that in my view. It looked like a romance, it isn’t. It looked like a chance for actors to shine for Oscars, it wasn’t.
“A depressed uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies.” -IMDB
Fri 16 Dec 2016 UTC
IMDB Rating: 7.9
The story here is fairly simple, though it’s presented in and out of sequential time. That makes it a little harder to get your head around. Casey Affleck is a handyman, a dad, and a husband. He does the unthinkable. He suffers the unimaginable. Of course it’s devastating and sad. It’s told by jumping around in time. When his brother dies, he is chosen to take care of his brother’s son. That alone could have been the theme of the movie but there is something else big, ferocious, sad, and overwhelming that almost overshadows it.
The problem with this film is that it only offers a surface image of it’s many situations. Stories are delved into and not fully developed through the characters. You’ll find tears well placed but it wasn’t enough to bring me into the movie. I saw it, heard it, and interpreted it but only to see what was happening. There was only one spot where I really felt what was happening. The scene way after the tragedy when Michelle Williams’ character meets up with Casey Affleck’s is certainly a tear-jerker moment.
I have always found Casey Affleck to be a flat character. In this film, he is once again flat. I’m very surprised this film has received so much acclaim. Specifically, I wonder why so much praise has been given to Casey. He does an ok job but I think almost any actor could walk in his shoes here. This is a decent film worth watching. I recommend it but not as high as the critics seem to be doing. But, art is relative and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My final word? It’s a decent to very-good drama, that’s it.