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Manchester by the Sea

Ella Fitzgerald (Gottlieb 02871).jpg

Everybody has been raving about the greatness of the movie Manchester by the Sea. So Diane and I saw it.

We found very little to recommend it. Meandering plot, various portentous-seeming scenes with no pay off, and acting so low key it often seems comatose.

The only feature of the movie that I admired was its soundtrack. Very mid 20th century. I think the song selection was meant to show that fishing ports are places where things change very slowly, that as a consequence often seem of another time.

One example: "I'm beginning to see the light" plays in the middle of the movie. If I'm not mistaken, the specific version of this song they use is the Ella Fitzgerald duet with Bill Kenny, recorded in 1945.

Sample lyrics:

I never cared much for moonlit skies
I never winked back at fireflies
But now that the stars are in your eyes
I'm beginning to see the light.

It's a great old song. Nice to be able to say that there is something of value in this movie. But hey, don't waste two hours watching it on that account. Mid 20th century jazz is easy to find.

 

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