PAST FILM SCREENING
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
February 15 – 2:00 + 7:30 PM
6 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS including Best Picture
USA, 2016 – Rated 14A – 136 minutes
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges
Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone, Good Will Hunting), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn, Take This Waltz), and Kyle Chandler (Carol, Bloodline) star in this and critically acclaimed drama from writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me, Margaret), about a reclusive handyman whose life is upended after the sudden death of his beloved older brother. With only his third feature in 16 years, Lonergan takes us through a familiar milieu in Manchester by the Sea, but does so in wholly unfamiliar ways.
Lee Chandler (Affleck) is the resident handyman for a small apartment complex in a Boston suburb. He spends his days shoveling snow, fixing leaks, and doing his best to ignore the tenants’ small talk. He spends his evenings either alone in his basement apartment or nursing a beer at his local pub, where he’ll pick a fight with anyone who throws a glance his way. Yet buried beneath this sadness and isolation is another life.
When he receives the news that his older brother Joe (Chandler) has died of a congenital heart condition and that, to his unpleasant surprise, he’s been appointed legal guardian of Joe’s teenage son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), Lee returns to his nearby seaside hometown.
Despite the sudden loss of his father, and in stark contrast to his uncle, Patrick is full of life. A popular student, he juggles hockey, band practice, and two girlfriends. As this mismatched pair stumbles through the mundane details of estate planning and the awkward strain of adolescence, Lee is forced to confront his past, revealed seamlessly through flashbacks, and the realities of his present.
In Manchester by the Sea, Lonergan has created a world so messy that it can only be described as wonderfully human.
“The persistence of grief and the hope of redemption are themes as timeless as dramaturgy itself, but rarely do they summon forth the kind of extraordinary swirl of love, anger, tenderness and brittle humor that is Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan’s beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama about how a death in the family forces a small-town New Englander to confront a past tragedy anew.” – Justin Chang, Variety
“[A] beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama about how a death in the family forces a small-town New Englander to confront a past tragedy anew.” – Justin Chang, Variety
“Lonergan has sculpted this story and these characters with great delicacy and wisdom, knowing exactly what to leave out and when, like the sturdy types who populate this desolate landscape, to draw back and walk away in sorrow.” – Kyle Smith, New York Post
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