A director you can count on.
While watching the relationships develop in Manchester by the Sea, I had a passing thought that I hadn’t seen anything like this since You Can Count On Me (2000), the generically-titled film starring Laura Linney and introducing Mark Ruffalo. So I wasn’t terribly surprised to Google the director and find they share the same one, Kenneth Lonergan.
Lonergan has only directed three films in that time, so I’m expecting another winner in the year 2032. Manchester by the Sea is one of the best films of the year, telling a story of pain and complication with elements of humor and laughter realistically woven in just like life. I was completely invested in these characters and transplated to the small towns of Cape Ann for a little over two hours.
Producer Matt Damon was set to play the leading role early on but other commitments intervened, giving the part to Casey Affleck. Whew! We are blessed; Affleck is subtle and superb in an uncompromising performance.
Simply put: See Manchester on the Sea.
Award potential: Look for nominees in all major Oscar categories beginning with Best Picture. Expect high-profile nods for Affleck as Best Actor and Michelle Williams for Best Supporting Actress. I would nominate Affleck’s onscreen nephew, Lucas Hedges, but it’s a long shot for Best Supporting Actor for a relative newcomer.
The Ten Buck Review: Worth ten bucks.