A Cinephile Loss in World of Dreams, and Desires!’s review published on Letterboxd:
Life can be roll coaster with unexpected twists with ups, and downs. Sometimes when those expected downs come it’s hard to deal with it, but how do you deal with a loss as vast as the titanic? This is the question this movie lingers on masterfully, and leads too deeply rich film.
This follows tale of Lee Chandler a very sad lonely individual in Boston who work’s a job as a handyman. Then he gets call of death of his brother, and has go back to town, he’s haunted by. To grieve not only his brother, but to take care of his nephew.
A reason, I loved this film is that at its core it’s a classic love story a tale of will they or won’t they. But not a romantic tale, but tale of whether this broken soul of a man can even be there, and care for his nephew, he certainly thinks not. It’s a compelling question that lingers throughout film.
For why is the question that lingers for a lot of this film. Why is this man so dead? Why can’t he care for his nephew for he seems like he could do task perfectly fine? Can Lee ever recover? It’s all these question that lingered with me.
Then of course huge reveal happens! That puts a lot into context, and it’s quite frankly devastating but so rich. I had such insurmountable amount of empathy for Lee for everything he’s going through, and why he is way he is. Then huge question of film does begin to be in this film can Lee ever recover?
Lee is such a rich multi faced character. For he once had everything but due to tragic mistake lost everything, and slowly becoming a ghost of human being. For this leads him to disconnecting from those around him, acting like an asshole to people around him. Yet there’s still a gentle, caring, loving quality within this deeply broken shell of a man.
Then of course, I shall have bring into Patrick, Lee’s nephew into picture. For he’s a complex character, he’s quite shitty, but through his shitty qualities there’s a respectful loving person. For he represents a missing piece of Lee, a piece Lee lost, and a piece that film questions whether Lee can ever attain back.
This is what makes picture. Is this core love story between Lee, and Patrick. For Lee loves Patrick dearly, he wants best for him, and cares for him like he’s his own son. But what prevents him from growing closer, and being able care for him is his insurmountable amount of grief. It all ties into major question of film can Lee ever recover.
This is film where there is no easy resolution to problems. Like real life, there’s often no easy resolution, and at times no resolutions at all. Something can’t be fixed, something will always be broken. This is haunting question film left me as I watched it.
For this is film that never gets carried way or overly dramatic. It’s never manipulative, it all feels so rooted in reality, and it knows just when to push the buttons.
This all makes for this beautiful devastating portrait of love, and grief. Riddle in complexities, and riddled in question. A tale painted with such a delicate, and a tender hand.
Moving on to performance, Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler is utterly astounding, his performance is so genuine, so raw, and felt so real. For I just felt pain oozing out of him, and he just wonderfully captured all qualities of this character so well. To sum it up, beautiful, and vulnerable. Then Lucas Hedges as Patrick Handler is fantastic, he truly captures charming, respectful, loving and shitty qualities of his character so well. Then Michelle Williams as Randi, Lee’s ex wife, she has only a small amount in this film, but she’s utterly incredible. Her performance is devastating, but it felt so raw, and genuine, so beautifully vulnerable. Her work is just exceptional.
Moving on to cinematography by Jody Lee Lipes, and technical direction by Kenneth Lonegran is exceptional. I noticed how most of film is shot in wide. Which wonderfully captures the distant, and overwhelming sense of depression, and loneliness Lee is going through in such powerful visual way. Then whole film is so beautifully natural shot in such a cold, and foggy way. Film is set in winter in east coast witch is perfect for this kinda film, there’s no better environment to visualize depression, and loneliness. This film might be one of the best cinematic visualization of depression, and loneliness, I’ve seen.
Then moving on to score, film doesn’t use a lot of music. Which wonderfully captures real, and raw qualities this film is going for. But when film does, it’s so effective, and came down upon me like tidal wave. Film seems to use a lot of classic music, but it does have a score credited by Lesley Barber which is very beautiful, wonderfully capturing sheer weight of this film. But film uses “Adagio Per Archi E Organo in Sol Minore” in particular scene that’s so devastating and at first, I was like this is beautiful work of music but did it needed it, and is this is bit much? But I’ve grown to truly admire choice, and think it was beautiful choice that truly added to this film.
Overall, a brilliant deeply effective film by director Kenneth Lonegran, and rest of artist involved. Is just such towering portrait of depression, love, and loneliness. Plus MASSIVE SPOILERS this is film with a surreal surprise appearance by Mathew Broderick?! It’s surreal seeing same guy who played Ferris Buller as this middle age Christian guy, so unreal! Which plays into this beautiful film of whether one can even realistically live with such devastation?