It’s been tipped for Oscar glory and has topped many critics’ lists in the US – but the stunning ‘Manchester By the Sea’ deserves every gushing word. With great performances and a razor-sharp script, this insightful film takes a warm, sympathetic and surprisingly humorous look at love, loss and family.
Written and directed by playwright turned filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan (‘You Can Count On Me’, ‘Margaret’), the film stars Casey Affleck as Lee, whose sparse, solitary existence is interrupted when the death of his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) forces him to return to the hometown he abandoned years before. Unsettled by an encounter with his estranged ex-wife (Michelle Williams), and the revelation that Joe has made him the guardian of his teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges), Lee is forced to face up to new responsibilities.
Lonergan is a celebrated screenwriter, interweaving comedy and tragedy, the film manages to be heart-breaking one minute and hilarious the next. The cast are uniformly stunning: Affleck gives an outstanding performance as the vulnerable Lee but he’s matched at every turn by young Hedges, who puts in a stellar performance as the wisecracking, girl-juggling Patrick. Expect both actors to be in the frame come Oscar time.
With gorgeous Massachusetts locations – all white clapboard houses and rolling seascapes – and a wealth of wonderful character detail (check out Patrick’s awesome garage band Stentorian), this could well be the best film you’ll see in 2017 If you’re still in any doubt, check out Time Out’s five-star review – this is one you won’t want to miss.
Read our review of 'Manchester By the Sea'.