Manchester by the Sea

Oscar Winning Sunday

Director: 
Kenneth Lonergan
Year: 
2016
Rating: 
R
Run Time: 
135 mins
Cast: 
Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
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In the latest film from award-winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan, the life of a solitary Boston janitor is transformed when he returns to his hometown to take care of his teenage nephew. The story of the Chandlers, a working-class family living in a Massachusetts fishing village for generations, "Manchester by the Sea" is a deeply poignant, unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope. After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him. In his first film since 2011's acclaimed "Margaret," Lonergan once again proves himself a powerful and visionary storyteller as he seamlessly weaves past and present together, crafting a tension-filled tale that deftly eschews sentimentality in favor of penetrating emotional insight and deeply affecting human relationships. 


"No film this year has moved me more with its humor, heart and humanity." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"See this film as soon as you can, preferably with someone you love. Kenneth Lonergan’s third feature as a writer-director is a drama of surpassing beauty, and Casey Affleck’s portrayal of the janitor, Lee Chandler, is stripped-back perfection — understated, unaffected, yet stunning in depth and resonance." - Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"It's the kind of movie you'll want to see a second time with someone who hasn't seen it yet, to remember what it was like to watch it for the first time." - Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

"Manchester by the Sea is an experience worth having, not for the magnificence of its impact or the far-flung grandeur of its settings but for the way it illuminates with quiet, unyielding grace how you and I and our neighbors get by, and sometimes how we don’t." - Ty Burr, Boston Globe

"Manchester by the Sea is a masterpiece in a minor key, an exploration of grief that never lets its characters — or its audience — off the hook. It manages this even when it’s funny, which is surprisingly often." - Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic 

"This is pitch-perfect filmmaking, the kind that turns a hungry visionary into a popular last name. Rest assured, it’s all earned. Manchester by the Sea is a hearty, rewarding drama audiences will remember for years." - Consequence of Sound

"Masterfully told and beautifully acted, Manchester By The Sea is a shattering yet graceful elegy of loss and grief." - Phil de Semlyen, Empire

"Manchester by the Sea is a film of surpassing beauty and heart. Even at its most melancholy depths, it brims with candid, earnest, indefatigable life." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"Powerful, emotional filmmaking that leaves a scar, Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester By the Sea is heartbreaking yet somehow heartening, a film that just wallops you with its honesty, its authenticity and its access to despair." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times