Manchester by the Sea, with its European-vibe of a title, is narrative drama at its best. (No wonder to discover the likes of Matt Damon & gang behind its production team)  A perfectly crafted low key script that packs a punch - nothing like a good ol’ family story, right?

- A timeline that integrates time jumps, back and forwards, in a very rewarding, non-dramatic way. Employing direct cuts, the jumps are confusing for a long time, as there’s no visual cues to make the job easier on the spectator. Yet it’s confusion of the “good kind”, the one that keeps you alert, mentally putting pieces together, assembling the story parts.

This becomes the film’s form, but only for the first part, thus subtly defying public’s expectation and keeping it on its toes.

- Patiently designing and building characters is extremely rewarding. And this film excels at it. From main character (Casey Affleck - even if quite inexpressive, embodies a very rich and “3D” character, authentic and believable) to supporting roles, everybody’s worked-on, developed, individualised, relatable. 

Putting this in the same bucket with La La Land for Best Picture at the Oscar’s shows just how robust American exceptionalism still is. Just kidding.