A powerful and profoundly moving psychological masterwork. A father's incautious behavior results in a devastating tragedy, after which his personality radically changes into such depressive behaviors as social isolation, deadened emotions, menial employment, and various other forms of self-punishment such as starting fights he will surely lose. Life events then occur that make demands of him which he is unable to meet because of the psychic damage he has incurred. Choked-back words and feelings struggle for expression but are too massively painful, or too hard to explain, to come out. Keep a hanky handy. And yet the film itself is not depressing, in fact at turns funny and charming in ways all should be able to relate to.

Numerous scenes of raw emotional power, as well as charm and high artistry, are likely candidates for re-watching. Ensemble performances by Casey Affleck (Academy Award Best Actor), Michelle Williams, and Lucas Hedges worthy for study in a master acting class.

It continues to amaze me when some individuals (commenters below) are simply incapable of appreciating what's before them, even though I know it should no longer surprise me.

oldwestfan's rating:
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