Review: Manchester by the Sea


manchester-by-the-sea-poster

Manchester by the Sea is opening in theaters across the U.S. starting today (it opens in Dallas/FW November 25th).  It’s already getting rave reviews from the critics and has been selected as an Official Selection for several film festivals such as the 2016 New York and Sundance Film Festivals.   The movie is also getting lots of Oscar buzz for Best Picture and Best Actor for Casey Affleck who gives his best performance of his career.   I believe it could earn Oscar nominations in several categories, it’s that good.

kyle-chandler-casey-affleck-credit_-claire-folger-courtesy-of-amazon-studios-and-roadside-attractions14672433601

Synposis:  In Manchester by the Sea, the latest film from award-winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan, the life of a solitary Boston janitor, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck)  is transformed when he returns to his hometown to take care of his teenage nephew. The story of the Chandlers, a working-class family living in a Massachusetts fishing village for generations, Manchester by the Sea is a deeply poignant, unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope.  After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges).   Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester by the Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16 year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he grew up.   With the father and brother who bonded them together as a family no longer alive, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.
manchester-by-the-sea

The film is moving, thought provoking, raw, and film at its best.  It’s also probably one of the saddest movies you will see this season topped off with a big dose of reality.  It’s a very honest study of human grief and how the human spirit strives to overcome it.    The film also examines the Chandler Family and their long history of difficult but strong relationships through masterful flashbacks.  The relationships and dialogue seem so real that at times you feel like you’re actually watching a documentary.  But at the heart of the story is the unconditional love that they share for each other.

 

Casey Affleck gives a superb performance as Lee.  He’s consumed with grief, guilt, and loss and he will break your heart with his sad eyes and thin voice.   Michelle Williams doesn’t disappoint in her small but poignant and heart rending role as Lee’s ex-wife.  Lucas Hedges as the teenage nephew is a young actor to keep an eye on.   His rebellious teenage character is both endearing and exasperating.  His subtle sense of humor is a delight and his interactions with his uncle are both touching and funny.

MBTS_2354.CR2

The bleak winter New England seaside setting of Manchester by the Sea brings a poetic statement to every scene and you will be thinking about Manchester by the Sea long after you see it.  It’s a beautifully made film and one of the best I’ve seen in quite awhile.

manchester-by-the-sea-boat

AMAZON STUDIOS AND ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS RELEASE THE FILM STARTING NOVEMBER 18TH IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES AND ROLLING OUT INTO THEATERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA OPENS IN DALLAS/FORT WORTH NOVEMBER 25, 2016

New Network TV Shows You Must See This Fall

watching-tvWhat better way to welcome fall than by watching some binge-worthy TV shows? Snuggle up, settle down and switch off your brain in front of the TV. We hope this will help you decide what to watch this fall!

Timeless

The concept: Can this group of travellers stop a villain from changing the past and thus changing the future?
Why you should watch: We are intrigued by this kind of twisty trope-filled time party.

American Housewife

The concept: This show is a comedy about a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three, who raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with “perfect” mommies and their “perfect” offspring.
Why you should watch: We like the way they are dealing with what it’s like to be an average-sized women with America’s super-thin ideals! The average American woman is 5’4″ and 166 pounds. The idea of a weekly reality check on what is normal, done with laugh-out-loud moments is something to be watched!

This Is Us

The concept: A drama about a selection of people with the same birthday whose lives unexpectedly intersect.
Why you should watch: If you are Parenthood fans, this show will fill the hole in your heart. “This Is Us” is, without a doubt, the fall’s most emotionally engaging TV show.

Designated Survivor

The concept: A terrorist attack has claimed the lives of the president and the members of his cabinet, except the secretary of housing and urban development. “Designated Survivor” is part political and part procedural.
Why you should watch: The cast is terrific. Kiefer Sutherland is a surprisingly good fit as a man thrust into a situation he doesn’t want to be in. Plus, you get all-around good actor (and real-life ex-White House employee) Kal Penn, playing a White House employee.

Speechless

The concept: This show features a mom on a mission, who will go to any lengths necessary for her husband Jimmy and her kids – Ray, Dylan and JJ, her eldest son with special needs. The family works to make a new home for themselves while they search for just the right person to give JJ his “voice.”
Why you should watch: This is a sweet show that is a little different from the other comedies on TV. You will really fall in love with this family. 🙂

What will you be watching this season?

How to Throw an Epic Captain America: Civil War Party

captain-america-civil-warMy son loves the Avengers…like LOVES the Avengers. I could not tell you how many times that I have seen that movie – well, I digress. The excitement has been building in our house for the newest movie, Captain America: Civil War. Naturally, when I asked my son what he wanted his birthday party theme to be, he yelled: “Marvel!” This year, we threw an epic birthday party for his friends, and I am here to share how his party has just the right amount of epic awesomeness to get your family pumped for Captain America: Civil War. The only question remains is, are you for #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? 😉

Themed Snacks Instead of Flashy Decorations
I am all about themed snacks. They can double as decorations, and since the point is for you and your guests to eat the snacks, it can cut down on your cleanup time after the festivities are over. Here are a few snack ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.Hulk-Juicecaptain-america-pizzateam-cap

Bring the Entertainment Home Instead of Paying for a Playhouse
Next, I had to figure out what entertainment to provide for 9 year-old boys. Thanks to my friend, Facebook, I discovered a piñata company in Kotor, Montenegro. Angela is amazing and made us an Iron Man head. We just added some hard candy into the piñata and grab the nearest scarf and broom stick – an the party festivities went up to an epic level. Then, we added a “pin-the-star on Cap’s shield” game and much fun was had. Here’s are some of the fun pictures.Iron-Man-Beforeiron-man-pinatairon-man-blastcaptain-america-shield-gamepin-the-star-captain-america

Jane Austen’s “Love and Friendship” is Deliciously Fun!

banner_LoveAndFriendship1457115967The eagerly awaited film LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP opens in Dallas on May 20, 2016!  The movie is an adaptation of young Jane Austen’s unfinished novella Lady Susan, believed to have been written in the mid 1790’s but revised and published by her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, in 1871.

Love and Friendship takes place in England in the 1790’s, and features the beautiful, notorious but poor widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale).  It begins with her abrupt visit to Churchill, the estate of her in-laws who she barely knows.  She’s there because she has no place to live and to lay low while the rumors about her scandalous affairs (with a married man no less) die down.  While there she continues to spin her web on her next prey, this time on the young handsome and eligible bachelor Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel) who is her in-law’s brother.  She’s also dead set on securing a husband – the very rich Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett) for her young and rebellious daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark).   What ensues is a most delightful story told through the creative eyes of Screenplay Writer and Director Whit Stillman.Love and Friendship 89You can’t take your eyes off of Kate Beckinsale throughout the movie.  Not only is she beautiful to look at, but her monologues are absolutely brilliant. She walks the line between being a perfect English lady while she’s flirting with scandal and deceiving everyone in her path.  Chloe Sevigny, who plays her American friend Alicia Johnson, is well-casted as one of Lady Susan’s only friends and confidante.  Tom Bennett’s character Sir James Martin is especially wonderful.  He doesn’t have a brain in his head and he will make you laugh out loud at some of the idiotic things he says.Love and FriendshipLove and Friendship is a joy to watch from beginning to end.  It’s a departure from most of Jane Austen’s novels and in Whit Stillman’s creative hands it’s a true delight.  Because the relationships between all the characters can become quite complicated  they are introduced in a funny and creative way in the beginning of the story which gives you a clue that this is going to be a different kind of Jane Austen film. Despite it being a period film it’s funny and fresh and you can’t wait to see what the conniving and absolutely brilliant Lady Susan will do next.

Grab some girlfriends and go indulge yourself in this wonderful new Jane Austen film.

Written & Directed by:

WHIT STILLMAN

Starring:

Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Morfydd Clark, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, James Fleet,Jemma Redgrave, Justin Edwards,  Jenn Murray, With Stephen Fry, and Chloë Sevigny

Love and Friendship 5

Batman V Superman? Let the Kids Decide!

In two weeks, the battle is on when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to theaters on March 25, 2016! The Children’s Place is partnering up with Batman & Superman to treat one lucky winner to a heroic family trip to Los Angeles with VIP Warner Bros. Studio tour passes. Click here to enter! The-Childrens-Place-Batman-V-Supermanbatman-v-superman-kidsNot only can you enter to win, but you can also find apparel for your kids to support their favorite superhero. GRAND PRIZE INCLUDES:
· 4 roundtrip airfare tickets to Los Angeles & complimentary ground transportation to/from LAX
· Hotel accommodations for 3 nights
· 4 VIP Warner Bros. Studio tour passes
· $200 gift card to The Children’s Place


This video also features another contest, but it gives back to the community. If you donate, you could win a prize package that includes a trip to the Los Angeles premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a ride in the Batmobile with Ben Affleck, a ride in a helicopter with Henry Cavill and an opportunity to “photo bomb” the Red Carpet at the premiere.

Now, your kids may not necessarily care about the moral differences between Batman and Superman. Let’s be honest, some of them will not be seeing this movie in the theater (rated PG-13), BUT they undoubtedly have participated in conversations like this one. “Who do you think would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?” or “Which superhero is cooler?” I have to admit that I am #TeamSuperman because well Henry Cavill…oh, and Batman is Ben Affleck. Also maybe it’s because of my love for Kryptonians by watching Supergirl on CBS.

Post below which one you // they are cheering for! 🙂