There's good films, and there's great films. In a celebratory fit of independence - look, I can drive again! - I've been to the movies four times this week, and seen some good stuff, including La La Land. But Manchester by the Sea is exceptional.
Not cheerful, not easy, and it takes its time. But its never dull, and it's beautifully photographed and acted. Some of the best bits are dialogue free - filmed action and music, where we know exactly what's going on, because these people, this town, have been so carefully established that we can follow precisely - but we're drawn in all the deeper because there's no dialogue. It's about all sorts of different pain, but it's never indulgent and never settles for easy resolutions. As the backstory unfolds, full of grief, loss, anger and guilt, we recognise that this is a difficult situation, but we end up wiser and better for having been immersed in it. I don't know how they do that, but I'm so glad that they do.