Manchester By The Sea is out right now in limited release. If you can find it, I urge you to go see this incredible film. I saw this film in January at Sundance going in knowing next to nothing. All there was in the program was this picture of Kyle Chandler and Casey Affleck who play brothers in the film. And the name Kenneth Lonergan, the writer director. That’s the name that made this film a must see for me. He has only written and directed three films. His first feature, You Can Count On Me gave us an incredible debut by Mark Ruffalo as Laura Linney’s ne’er do well brother. His second film, Margaret, starring Anna Paquin, was finally released on DVD recently.
This is the short review of Manchester By The Sea I wrote on Letterboxd after I returned from Sundance:
Casey Affleck plays a janitor who has to return to his hometown when his brother (Kyle Chandler) suddenly dies of a heart attack. He’s named guardian for his teenage nephew, and you come to understand through flashbacks why he is so reluctant to assume that role. Michelle Williams plays his ex-wife, in a fantastic supporting role. Lucas Hedges is the 16 year old nephew, and he is amazing. This is a break out role for this young actor.
But Casey Affleck’s melancholy superb acting had me sobbing, not just tears down my face but holding my hand over my mouth to keep quiet in the theater sobbing. This is a masterful movie about real people and their grief.
If you can, go see this film without watching the trailer, because the trailer shows part of a key scene between Casey Affleck and his ex-wife, Michelle Williams. I think it has more impact if you don’t know what’s coming.
Casey Affleck is a lock for a best actor Oscar nomination, and Manchester By The Sea is at the top of best of 2016 film lists, right after La La Land. I haven’t seen La La Land yet (Dec. 9th can’t come fast enough), but Manchester By The Sea is the best film I’ve seen so far this year.