MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (2016)
written & directed by Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me)
starring Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
ENJOYMENT: **** (out of 4)
On a single day in a life of tragedy and regret, it might be hard to understand exactly the events that led to that point. Who's at fault? Can it it get better? You're in a job you can't stand. You and your wife are separated. You have lost track of your kids. You feel all alone in the world. Then, one day, your one connection to normalcy disappears and you're faced with a choice: do you make a last-ditched effort to engage or do you recede ever more into oblivion? In Manchester by the Sea, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is presented with this choice. As his story unfolds through a series of disparate-seeming flashbacks that eventually tell his story, Lee begins to understand who he is as a man, and, more acutely, as an uncle. After a tragedy leaves Patrick (Lucas Hedges) in the care of his Uncle Lee, the two men explore their existence together in the small New England town that gives the film its name. Filled with love and comedy as well as utter tragedy, Manchester by the Sea is the most honest depiction of the trials as well as the joys of life that I have seen all year. For this, and for its impeccable acting, cinematography and score, this is my favorite film so far this year.
- Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Casey Affleck), Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score
- Wins: Best Picture (similar chances as La La Land and Moonlight), Best Director (maybe), Best Original Screenplay
- Snubs: Best Supporting Actor (Lucas Hedges)