Billy Dickson’s directorial debut Believe may not be as theologically driven as some of its like-minded counterparts of contemporary independent Christian cinema, but even on that basis alone, it doesn’t instill much hope for the genre. Its focus is more on class relations than any film of the genre I’ve seen before, yet the problem its lead character, while unfortunately stuck in a situation that’s working against him, he’s an arrogant character that is more than partially to blame for the failing state of his company. And with that, the uplifting ending Believepredictably tacks on isn’t as nice of a ribbon as you’d like to think either.
The looks in the tired, worn faces of even the youngest members of the Chandler family express more than any dialog Kenneth Lonergan could’ve crafted for his characters. Manchester by the Sea is so emotionally honest it feels like the film itself might start crying, but at the same time, human suffering, the small moments of life, and the bleak, coastal landscape of overcast skies has scarcely felt so realized.