Mike Schulz’s review of Manchester by the Sea prompts me to write this congratulatory note that’s been my intention for years. Recognizing, analyzing while not spoiling great films for potential viewers in a review is hard enough. Scolding those responsible for lame efforts, filmic messes, and acting disasters is easier but still hard to do without unnecessary snark.

But using both ends of the critical spectrum to teach reader/viewers to dig deeper into a film, to recognize the efforts of those that shoot, light, coach, scout, cast, write, direct, and act in films is a tall order, and Mike Schulz accomplishes it.

Thank you, Mike, for having so much to say over the years and saying it artfully, challenging your readers’ observational powers. You have always set a high bar for useful criticism and have always kept it warm and personal via your obvious love of filmmaking in all its glorious complexity.

Leslie Bell

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