Emotions Require No Special Effects

This weekend, you can feast your eyes on the special effects extravaganza of “Rogue One,” the new “Star Wars” movie, or, perhaps see “Manchester By The Sea,” a film with no special effects and a budget that was probably less than the craft services budget of the sci-fi thrill ride.

Do yourself a favor and see “Manchester By The Sea”–– if not this weekend, sometime soon. I’m sure “Rogue One” will be incredible, but you don’t need a cavalcade of special effects to be moved emotionally. You just need a good story, well-told and well-acted.

“Manchester” is a simple story exploring the complexities of the human condition and the frailties of living comfortably inside one’s skin.

Casey Affleck delivers an incredibly poignant and restrained performance of a man wrought by guilt and shame thrust into being the caretaker for his nephew when his brother dies.

Can he care for another when he barely can care for himself?

Lucas Hedges is terrific as the nephew, likewise Michelle Williams as Affleck’s ex. All the performances are true and striking in their honesty.

Don’t mistake this film for a complete downer; the story is told with intelligence, humor, wit and grace.

With no car chases, superheroes, battle scenes, or cities annihilated while masses run screaming, “Machester By The Sea” does what great cinema has always done–– touch us with its humanity. The performances make you feel empathy for the characters, and you’ll feel richer for the experience.

See it. The film is a great reminder that in marketing, the most powerful messages are the ones told with empathy so people connect emotionally.

And, yes, also see “Rogue One,” which I’m sure has a human story fueled by millions in computer-generated pyrotechnics.