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I know it’s probably going to win awards, but I wish I had never watched Manchester by the Sea.

It was so awful that I seriously thought about giving up this year’s quest to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies.

I’m just going to be straight with you: this movie revolves around the deaths of three children in a fire.

If I had known that, I think I would’ve given the movie a miss.

But they couched it with phrases like the main character facing “a tragedy from his past” and I just wasn’t expecting it.

Nobody ever expects three children to suddenly die in a fire.

We especially don’t expect them to be in a dream sequence later, telling their father, “Daddy, I’m burning.”


What were they thinking?

The movie has nothing to recommend it. It does not have a happy ending. Nobody realizes anything or faces anything or becomes a better person or moves on or anything.

There is simply no resolution, no payback, nothing. You watch this tragedy for no reason.

My wife argues that the acting must have been powerful since it affected us so much. No. It was simply awful.

Only once in my 15-year career did I see a parent outside a burning house, with her children inside. It was the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. The movie scene outside the first was pretty much exactly what I saw, except in the movie they moved to another scene eventually. In reality, the screaming and struggling to get into the house went on for hours, until the fire was out and the children’s dead, burned bodies were recovered.

But this movie didn’t let us look away. Oh no, we got to see it all, even the recovery of the bodies.

For the sake of all decent people, couldn’t they label movies like this? It was rated R, but I feel at times like this it ought to be rated IF YOU LOVE CHILDREN OR JUST HATE DYING IN A FIRE, DON’T WATCH THIS.

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on


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