Manchester By The Sea
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Kara Hayward, Tate Donovan
Country of Origin: USA 2016 133 mins. (15)
5 Golden Globe Nominations - Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay Winner Best Actor in a Drama (Casey Affleck)
Released by StudioCanal
Casey Affleck is mesmerising as Lee Chandler, a man haunted by a single mistake that tore his life apart. His is a sorrow hidden deep that eats into his soul. Working as a handyman in a Boston apartment block, Lee's inner torment deepens when he’s forced to return to his hometown on the death of his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) from congenital heart failure to find that he’s been made guardian of Joe’s teenage son Patrick (Lucas Hedges).
Lee's days are filled with the visits to lawyers, funeral directors, sorting Patrick's life including his nephew's complicated love life and deciding what to do with Joe's fishing boat. Told in flashback, his return to the past brings Lee into contact with his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams), Patrick's mother (Gretchen Hedges), an ex-alcoholic and a small town that hasn't forgotten. Told in flashback and played out against the beautiful Massachusetts coast line, it's not until half way through the film that the horror of Lee's torment that turned him from an easy going, loving family into a tormented loner is revealed.
It's riveting cinema with outstanding performances throughout, beautifully shot by cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes and Kenneth Lonergan's superb script and direction sees Casey Affleck give an Oscar deserving disciplined performance. That's not to leave out Michelle Williams who's superb and Lucas Hedges hits it full on as Lee's nephew. Do I single out one scene? Lee meeting his ex-wife Randi in the street, is one of those wow, tug at the heart, forever memorable scenes. Masterful cinema.
'Manchester By The Sea' drops into the SHOULD SEE, MUST SEE box.