You Could See It For the Music Alone But You Don’t Have To

“I’d like to find out who was responsible for the music,”  said my friend Caroline.  She wanted to stay and watch the credits roll after we had seen the movie Manchester by the Sea.  I could understand why she was interested in discovering who had compiled the pitch perfect score for this beautifully acted film. 

As I watched Manchester by the Sea I was impressed by the variety of music from a haunting a capella chorale written expressly for the movie by Lesley Barber to jazz tunes like I’m Beginning to See the Light by the Ink Spots to sacred music like Handel’s He Shall Feed His Flock from the Messiah to rhythm and blues pieces like Let The Good Times Roll to Bob Dylan’s folky rock tune Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.  I was so taken with the music that the first thing I did when I got home from the theatre was to look for a list of song credits for Manchester by the Sea.  I’ve already downloaded the soundtrack into my I-Tunes library.  

manchester-2There’s a complex variety of music in the film and sometimes you wonder for a moment why a certain piece might accompany a particular scene, but as the scene rolls out you come to understand why the music was chosen. The music in Manchester by the Sea definitely makes it even more profoundly moving and that’s saying a lot because there are scenes in this movie so deeply sad and poignant you can hardly bear to keep your eyes on the screen. 

In some of the reviews of Manchester by the Sea  there is already Oscar buzz around the performance of star Casey Affleck. There’s no doubt that his portrayal of Lee Chandler is stellar. Affleck draws in the audience ever so slowly and surprisingly as Lee reveals his story.  But I hope the soundtrack for this movie gets nominated for an Academy Award too. It’s truly something special. 

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