Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Afflect, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges
Running Time: 2 hrs, 17 minutes
Awards: Golden Globe winner for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director and Best Screenplay, numerous BAFTA nominations and many other awards.
And the Oscar for best picture goes to…….
This is a great movie. Its creator, Kenneth Lonergan has given us a film in which the whole is even greater than the sum of the parts, or however that saying goes.
It is sad, yes. But there is humor, there is inspiration, there is hope. What more can we expect from some of the worst pain life can conjure.
After the sudden death of his brother, Lee Chandler is made legal guardian of his nephew. Lee is an isolated and lonely man. As the movie progresses, between scenes in the present and flashbacks, we learn, at least in part, why this is the case. The story deals with love, forgiveness and responsibility. It is skillfully told.
Acting, pacing of the scenes, photography, story, writing are excellent. I now totally understand why the teen actor, Lucas Hedges, has received such praise even along the giant acting skills of Michelle Williams and Casey Afflect. I urge you to experience this film in all its thoughtfulness.
If like this viewer, you wonder about other Lonergan films, you may remember Count On Me with Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo, and a lesser-known more recent film, Margaret, starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo. I’ll be checking Netflix for that one.
Having seen this film only a few days ago, at this time I believe it should win every award possible. It’s hard to compare films, they present so differently. But good drama has a depth other genres can seldom match. This is a thoughtful and caring film amidst terrible hurt and tragedy. Watch carefully and you will see the humor, an important and helpful coping mechanism for character and viewer.