films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



2011 / 150m - USA
Margaret poster

A coming of age drama that adds a little extra spice. Usually films like these are content with just showing the characters and their everyday struggles growing up, I would say Margaret is slightly more ambitious. I don't feel Lonergan was entirely successful, but he at least gets points for trying.

Read all

Lisa is a pretty typical teen, her life is turned upside down when she inadvertently causes a traffic accident by distracting a bus driver. The victim dies in her arms, which leaves an indelible impression. At first she tries to protect the driver and herself, but guilt keeps gnawing on her, prompting Lisa to seek out the family of the victim.

It's somewhat interesting to see how a single event can impact the outlook on life of a person, performances are solid and the presentation is decent, but the film's a little long in the tooth and the drama does get a little overbearing. Not a bad film, but it didn't feel all that memorable or special and three hours really was a bit much.

Manchester by the Sea

2016 / 137m - USA
Manchester by the Sea poster

A drama with a capital D. Manchester by the Sea is the kind of film that is sure to do well with arthouse and academy fans, as it neatly ticks off all the boxes a typical prize film needs. It's no doubt a fine recommend if that's your thing, but it's also more than little by the numbers and not really the kind of film I'm generally after.

Read all

Performances are good, but most of the characters are rather one-note. They're all struggling really hard with serious drama from their pasts, but none of it is very gripping and when the drama keeps piling up it becomes pretty numbing. In the end, the harder Lonergan tried to make me care, the less I actually did.

Visually it's very drab, with dull colors, a sullen setting and functional camera work. The soundtrack isn't very interesting either, the runtime is excessive and the pacing is pretty slow, which is okay if the drama works, but it really didn't for me. It's not a terrible film, but there's nothing here that made me glad I watched it.