Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea was a film that scored numerous awards during its theatrical release. However, now that the film is about to be released online, it turns out that the prizes aren't quite finished yet. Amazon produced the film and so unsurprisingly the company is making it part of their Prime streaming service beginning May 5. Amazon has also decided that people in the actual town of Manchester-by-the-Sea might all want to see the movie which takes place in their town, so the entire town has been given a year of Amazon Prime for free. Also, a bag of popcorn.

Today, Amazon announced the gift to all of the residents of Manchester-by-the-Sea alongside the reveal that the film of the same name will be available to view for all Prime members this Friday. It's certainly a nice gesture. Clearly, anybody who lives in the town who hasn't already seen the movie will be curious about it and probably want to check it out. Though we can't imagine that anybody who has already seen it will want to do so again. Why would you make yourself that depressed twice?

While Manchester by the Sea is certainly a depressing film, most would agree that it's also a great one. It received a 96% positive aggregate rating from Rotten Tomatoes and was also the recipient of a massive pile of awards. Most notably, it took home the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award and it also won the Best Actor award for Casey Affleck's performance.

The fact that Manchester by the Sea was such a successful film is a major step forward for companies like Amazon. The company was designed to be, and still is primarily, an online retail store, and yet it's also an Academy Award winning production company. Netflix has also won numerous Emmy awards for their television series and received an Oscar for short subject documentary this year as well. All of this shows just how important the online based services have become in the grander scheme of entertainment. While services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video were originally seen as additional services that acted as an extension to standard movie and TV watching, at this point the company is a good option for anybody who wants access to a complete suite of programming. While many series and films are available on multiple services, with all the original content being created by each service there are some compelling reasons to subscribe to every streaming company under the sun.

Of course, you don't need to be a resident of Manchester-by-the-Sea in order to see the film of the same name. Those of us who already subscribe to the Amazon Prime service will also have the ability to watch the movie beginning this Friday.

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