Manchester By The Sea
Fans of writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s two previous features – the perfectly pitched dramas You Can Count on Me (2000) and Margaret (2011) – are desperate to see his latest, garlanded with praise after screenings at Sundance and TIFF.
Casey Affleck stars as Lee, a solitary Boston janitor who after a family tragedy, must return to his North Shore hometown Manchester-by-the-Sea to look after his brother Joe’s (Kyle Chandler) son Patrick (Lucas Hedges). There he must deal with caring for his nephew, coming back into contact with his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and confronting the weight of the past.
As in his previous films, Manchester by the Sea evinces Lonergan’s eye for comedy amidst tragedy, a sprawling interest in an array of supporting characters and most of all an investigation into what constitutes the texture of real life, as well as excellent performances. This is also perhaps his most fully realised film to date, offering us a glimpse into a near complete, emotionally overwhelming world.