Manchester by the Sea: Major Plot Points Breakdown By: Jessica N. Brunelle


Screenplay Genre: Drama

Written by: Kenneth Lonergan

Movie Time: 138 minutes – 2:10

1. Inciting Incident

The first fourteen minutes establishes an overall understanding of who Lee is: uncle, brother, fishes, kind, has a healthy happy bond with family, but now depressed, alone and self-destructive – picking fights in bars makes the audience curious why has this guy gone from family member to lonely drunk.

Fourteen minutes in: Lee Chandler gets a call to return to Manchester. He arrives and brother is gone by sixteen minutes. There are many flashbacks throughout the film.

2. End of Act I (Locked-In)

The second main story turn would be the flashback that shows an extreme contrast in the life he led in Manchester with the life he lives in the present that was established in the beginning living in Boston as a janitor. We as the audience begin to see he hold an extreme amount of guilt especially when he tells his children if they were not there he could watch the game in peace, but it has already been established that is not the case. He also mentions how at the playground he found himself “in pure happiness” which only stings the hear strings a little more as much as draws us in to understand and wonder, SO WHY THE DRAMATIC CHANGE, WHERE IS THIS HAPPY LIFE? WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS FAMILY?

3. Midpoint starts at forty-eight minutes and ending at sixty-five Minutes – Midpoint Ending ACT II

The third turn would be Lee going to pick up Patrick from school. Lee talks to the principal and they seem to know each other very well. Lee’s roots in Manchester run deep. When the principal gets off the phone he refers to a woman that it was “THE Lee Chandler.” And this is reinforced seconds later when Patrick’s teammates tell the coach what is going on and again the coach says “THE Lee Chandler.”

At 38 minutes Lee is at the school to pick up Patrick and this is the first encounter in the film we see 16 year old Patty with Lee.

Next major turn is at the lawyers. This is when the flashbacks are so intertwined with the scene in the lawyer’s office the story almost becomes linear and that really is when you feel Lee’s pain and it’s deep. The trial that he has gone through with himself is gut wrenching. Probably the worst anyone could ever fathom.

By the end of plot point B, we start into ACT III. The audience learns why he feels he has no right or is not worthy of ever being a parent is his main issue, which helps to understand why he got so upset when he gets scared when Patty tries to get out of the car to go see his dead Joe at the hospital.

CLIMAXPLOT Point C and the Denouement Plot Point D

This is really tough on the emotions. Right when you think Lee will stay, and he seems like this will all work out. He runs into a Randi who pulls back all those emotions, which he was just coming to terms with. Then after the scene with Randi, Lee makes his decision to stay or flee when George signs the papers for Patty to become his legal guardian. Lee, literally in dialogue with Patty, tells him “I just can’t beat it.”

He thought he could, and he was. He tries to pull away from her because he knows and the audience will know will cause him to regress. The scene continues with Randi crying and saying she loved him was just enough for him to realize he can’t overcome the loss of his children in Manchester with her.

He learns for himself by the end that her moving on was to have a new husband and baby, and it wasn’t working for her. For Lee, his moving on was not about leaving Patty, but leaving Manchester and by the last scene the audience realizes he has come to terms with that.

He learns for himself, his moving on, was acceptance of the situation for himself. He learned that Manchester and Randi was the problem for him. He sees that in Randi because stayed in Manchester and simply replaced her past with a new one as well as Patty’s mom attempt to change her past. Regardless of how perfect or easy the women made their new lives appear, they were still not healed or changed. Lee realizes staying in Manchester was not the answer to acceptance and healing and changing for the better. He sees that it didn’t work for them, so why would it for him. He knew he made the right decision and they were wrong. If he would have stayed, he’d be reliving the past no matter either way. All he would be doing, is becoming Joe’s replacement as a father and Patty as his son. Instead, he changes that by returning to the new life he created in Boston and keeps Patty as a nephew.

For him, he had to leave it all, but Patty would still always remain his family, his nephew, because that is where their relationship started and that is where it must end. The audience can see this in the funeral scene and to the end, especially when they discuss college and the spare room Lee plans to have for Patty when he talks about him coming to Boston one day to go to college.

If there was a sequel, which there is no reason to, we would, I think see a happy but alone, maybe a girlfriend with Lee, but his life would be staying an uncle NOT a parent to Patty.

This movie analysis could go on and on with deeper dives into scenes, dialogue and characterization. However, that would be a film’s literary analysis and not a plot point breakdown.


Mental Illness Doesn’t Mean Crazy

Society over time has confused mental illness with the term “crazy.” I would know because I have told my therapists, I think I am crazy multiple times in my life. Their responses were always the same, “Well that’s good because if you think you are crazy you are not.” Crazy people are the those who don’t think they are.

Hemingway Clip Tap Picture

People with mental illness always start out thinking they are crazy because no one else is either as honest as they are or as sensitive. They/we have multiple gifts because we are lucky to have the opportunity to see the world through our own lenses. Lenses that are conditioned to examine our feelings through truth. Only truth can help a person understand and deal with the emotions they feel under life’s general experiences. Those who go to therapy are taught how to get to the root of their feelings to understand them and the only way to do that is not to lie to ourselves. In fact we are taught to do the exact opposite and that is to come face to face with our own truths.

Video: Tap Picture
Silver Linings Playbook Dinner Scene

Why do you think people have repressed memories? Are repressed memories ever a camping trip to Yosemite or summer vacation that was the best one you ever experienced? Unfortunately they are not. They are normally molestations, rapes, or even murders they have witnessed. Repressed memories are normally so dark and destructive that the mind protects us by pressing it so far back into your memories, so you can’t find it.

Having mental illness has the gift of forcing us to look deep within ourselves in order to understand why we feel the way we feel.

Most likely, we have struggled with authority because we see truth in everything. We recognize people who pretend to be happy. We feel bad for the people who can’t see that they are lying to themselves. When we try to point this out or stand up for ourselves, it’s normally not accepted, which then make us a target. I always know that someone knows they are lying to themselves when I am honestly being honest with them. In a fleeting flash, you can see it in their face that you are right and then something in their brain causes them to hold on to their opinion, idea, or belief.

People don’t want to hear the truth and that is all people diagnosed with mental disorders know how to do. You may wonder why. If you do, it is because people with anxiety, depression, bi-polar, OCD, and all the hundreds of others are conditioned to in therapy.

Therapy that is another “no no” word in society. You hear in dialogue in movies and TV shows. It’s normally a scene of your typical step-ford wife telling another one about someone whose seeing a therapist. And they go on and on about what did he or she do to go and why are they going. They have to be crazy if they are seeing a shrink. They see it as, “Is life so hard to deal with you have to go to a shrink.” Or “Your seeing a shrink? Why you seem normal to me.” That is not the point. There is no normal because normal cannot be defined.


To me normal is being able to look yourself in the mirror and feel good about yourself and the people whom you are associated with. But no one is normal because no one really knows what normal is anymore. Christmas time is no longer normal, it’s actually crazy. Normal cannot exist because “normal” is NOT black or white because humans beings are in the gray matter. Anything that involves human emotions is normal because it is truth. How we deal with emotions and the choices we make based on how we perceive and interpret the world is where normal becomes the gray matter. Having human emotions is what makes us human. That is fact; that can be scaled using black or white. But our perceptions and interpretations is when the scale is no longer viable.

Sane people would say, “Yes, thank God for therapy or I would go crazy.” And they are 100% right. Society and people have it switched around. Individuals are not crazy; society is crazy. If you are an individual who thinks going to a shrink is for crazy people, you are probably lying to yourself or like most people who take the ostrich approach by putting their head in the sand. These are the same people who get angry when you tell them the truth about their self. We are not kids anymore where if you can’t see the monster than the monster can’t see them.

Video: Tap Picture
I’m Crazier Than You

There are some mental illnesses that make people act crazy, but we can all act crazy all the time with out actually being crazy. Society is only a construct; it’s not “The Guide to the Universe.” Every here the term “if everybody jumped off the bridge, would you.” Same thing applies here. All because society says something or makes us believe a certain way doesn’t make it right or fair. Society is nothing but a large group of people in an city, county, area, region, state, country, or world that have all played “follow the leader.”

Society is nothing but a community that has created a set of behavior guidelines, which are based on inaccurate information fueled by misconceptions and interpretations by individuals through how well they can communicate and their intellect.

People’s behavior in general is crazy especially brought on by stress. It’s similar to sparkling wine and champagne. All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. Champagne is only champagne if it is sparkling wine that comes out of the Champagne region of France.

The point is that everyone is in fact crazy, but crazy is not mental illness. Mental illness can make us crazy sometimes, but I know tons of people who should either be diagnosed with something or they have moments that drive them too to act crazy.

There is a difference between be diagnosed with a mental illness and the simple term “crazy.”

I am diagnosed with ADHD, extreme anxiety, and moderate depression. I do show bi-polar highs and lows with or without my meds, but it’s normally because I experienced an emotional trigger.

My behavior does in fact change enough that is recognized by family or those closest to me because they see it first hand. My emotional trigger is negativity acted out towards me or when I feel stress. I control it with three medications for each day.

I take one Wellbutrin every morning, two Adderral twice a day, and two Clonazepam in the evening or whenever I feel a panic attack coming. This keeps me pretty leveled out as long as a stay on my meds.

You have probably seen movies or TV shows that have a character that goes off their meds or refuses to take them and followed with a dramatic event as a result. This in fact is true. I have tried going with out my meds here and there, but it is always a mistake. I can feel a difference between one to three days

The important thing that I want people to understand that my ADHD, anxiety, and depression disorder is simply a lack of dopamine production in my brain.

Why is it so easy to accept and understand Diabetes, Lupus, or Cancer as acceptable illness, but when you hear that someone is bi-polar every one instantly stops and pauses because the first thing in there head is are they going to go crazy.

Yeah maybe, probably. They might be too honest, but there is no such thing. To me being honest is the best way to communicate in our world otherwise information, facts, ideas all become misconceptions because it was based on inaccurate information from the beginning.

In Silver Lining’s Play Book, Matthew Quick does and amazing job showing this when he has a system that he relies on truth to understand his emotions. Emotions is what makes people act crazy. It’s not the person, it’s emotions.

Video: Tap Picture
Pat Comes Home

Someone who is not diagnosed with a mental illness can experience high levels of emotional stress to the point they act crazier than I do without my meds. The problems is society doesn’t accept mental illness as a real disease. We are judged because of our mental illness.

I have called in sick to work because I was up all night battling panic attacks, and I finally got my self dosed down enough to where I could finally sleep. But I called in sick with the flu. I knew if I told them the truth in that cased I would be seen as a liar, risk, or liability.

People with mental illness should not be treated this way. If anything, it should be the opposite because the feeling of being judged or talked about is a trigger. It is normally society that causes people to go on meds because the stress amount is what is crazy, not the person. The people who are the biggest trigger for me and others with bi-polar or something closely related is family who acts like they are better than you because they appear to have a “normal” life and their family does “normal things.” And all you here is normal and perfect over and over again. They give you advice that makes you feel like a child while they are worse off because they have an entire heap of issues that they bury their head in the sand on.

If you can identify, TRY THIS next time you go to a family gathering and someone starts making you feel the way I described in the previous paragraph, call them out on the stuff they won’t face in their own lives. It will probably start a fight by blaming your illness, or they will of course say, “at least I am not the crazy one.” Then that will entice your trigger, so you will loose it because you are so frustrated that they turned their refusal to deal with their own problems on the fact that you are “the crazy one.”

We always wonder about how one person can do it all and everyone is in disbelief by their performance. My perspective is, they are either over medicating to keep up with demands of society, or they are working themselves into a trigger point and they fall apart when they get home. Where society can’t see them loose.

It would be CRAZY to think that person is super human for appearing to be capable of a heavy work load. I know this because I have been this person. I have always battled my three little mental abnormalities. I have worked myself to death because I didn’t think I had a choice because of the demands of work. So, I overmedicated my Adderall, which kept me held together long enough to get all my work done without loosing it. Which in turn made me double up on my Clonazepam because I was still stimulated by my Adderall.

I hate my Adderall at times because it curves my appetite terribly which causes my blood sugar to go down and then I become impossible to deal with because I am so annoyed by everyone around me.

But going off my meds or dealing with my mental illness each day is not different than a diabetic taking insulin everyday and when they don’t it causes them the same problems mental and physical.

The body and mind all work together. Physical ailments can lead to mental side effects just as mental ailments are often felt with physical discomforts. My panic attacks make my heart raise because my brain thinks it is in survival mode so my brain overproduces cortisol, which is a stress hormone to help with fight or flight. My brain overproduces cortisol. Why? I don’t know. Nor does the doctors.

Science and technology has achieved unbelievable advancements; however, it took twenty years, a plethora of psychologists, psychiatrists, behavioral therapy, licensed mental councilors and once I tried checking myself into a psych ward.

That sad reason I didn’t get to stay, is I couldn’t afford it or afford to take time off of work because I couldn’t tell my job the truth, which was that job caused me too much stress and my medication was not enough and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Our society is full of hate and judgement because other people are different. So groups are taken care of in regards to their labels, but mental illness is still not one of them. Even if you tell them, they might cater to you just to follow legal issues, but you can’t erase that judgement they feel about you when deciding what to do with you in the future. My point is people with mental illness constantly feel judged because people act different around us. People make us feel ashamed for our illness instead of support us. People see us as week when we are not. People see us as a threat because they are either scared or jealous or both.

For me and many others, it is the stress of our outside world that is our trigger, which causes our emotions to run wild within us. We cannot digest and understand these emotions therefore we use rational and practical reasoning, which leads us to only depend on the truth. People can’t handle the truth was correctly stated by Jack Nicholson. He’s 100% right. In Silver Linings Playbook, Pat is always wanting to know the truth because he needs the truth in order to make since of his emotions.

Mental illness is the same as the body’s ailments like the hundreds of various diseases, cancers, or just born that way. Some people have these problems that are genetic, so is the different diagnoses of mental illness. The silver lining to this truth is people don’t have to ever worry about a person using their mental illness as an excuse because society has already made us feel so ashamed of it, we wouldn’t dare speak of our mental illness. People are always surprised when they know my illnesses because they say, “but you don’t act crazy.”

The saddest part of mental illness is the lack of attention the media or society puts into it. Movies like Silver Linings Playbook and Netflix’s My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are the two forms of media that helps open people’s eyes to it but we need more spot lights on this. I should not feel I have to call in sick with the flu when it really because of sleep deprivation because of ten hours of triggered anxiety. My insurance should cover mental illness under the same umbrella as physical conditions. I would love to see a therapist and get off my meds and try to understand my anxiety and depression and why my emotions are what they are but I can’t afford $250 an hour and insurance doesn’t cover it without a $10,000 deductible.

Society calls me crazy while I am the one who is trying not to “the crazy aunt, ” or “the weird girl who doesn’t talk very much” or “the employee with all the excuses” of why she called in sick.

Jessica N. Brunelle ©️ All Rights Reserved


US Coronavirus Death Toll Rises and Hard-Hitting Areas Restrict Testing By: Jessica Brunelle

© Mark J. Terrill/AP Extremely light traffic moves along the 110 Harbor Freeway toward downtown mid afternoon, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Los Angeles. Traffic would normally be bumper-to-bumper during this time of day on a Friday. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is ordering the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home indefinitely. His order restricts non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system. He called up 500 National Guard troops Thursday to help with distributing food. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

US coronavirus death toll rises as hard-hit areas restrict testing

By Faith Karimi, CNN 2 hrs ago

Screenplay as a Series of Event-Reactions | by Scott Myers | Go Into The Story

One of my favorite writing quotes derives from Anne Beattie: “People forget years… and remember moments.” That’s totally my experience with movies. Ask me what I did last year for my birthday? Not a…
— Read on gointothestory.blcklst.com/screenplay-as-a-series-of-event-reactions-abe987d1e7e5

Manchester by the Sea Formatted into Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet


Last Sequence of the MIDPOINT:

Scene: Lee Chandler at the Police Station

Coronavirus Disease COVID 19 News, Articles and Research

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. COVID-19 is caused by one virus, called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.
— Read on www.news-medical.net/condition/Coronavirus-Disease-COVID-19

New world politics


Murray Robertson (photography & poems)

I make photographs and poems to please myself (and share them to please you).


There's a human story at every lighthouse.

Get Rich Canada

Helping Canadians Build Wealth


Seeking Solace in the Horizon of Life & Beyond.

With My Boots On

Visiting little towns with big hearts and traveling through life with my boots on.

Festival for Drama in Film, Screenplays, Novels

Showcasing the of best of DRAMA stories from around the world.


Family Writing & Film Festival. A festival showcasing the best of family and kids stories from around the world.

TV Screenplay Festival. Submit Today.

Submit your Television Pilot or Spec Screenplay for Full Feedback. Plus get it performed by professional actors at festival.

Paul Sterlini Writes

Let me put it this way...

The Godly Chic Diaries


Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Rusted Honey

Poetry, haiku, tanka, and micropoetry

The unspoken

The Unspoken Words Worth Writing Down

It's all about Inspiration

Inspiration is our vision as it is the key to success. This Blog is about Life Improvement, Personality Development, SEO, Amazon Affiliate Marketing, Blog ideas, and photography.