Manchester by the Sea has been earning some very strong reviews during the festival circuit, which kicked off with a highly successful debut at Sundance.
The first trailer for the drama has been released, giving us a good look at the film that some critics suggest could earn Casey Affleck his first Best Actor Oscar nomination.
Affleck plays Lee Chandler, a man who is suddenly forced to take care of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) after the boy’s father dies. Chandler is put in a position where he must consider moving back to his old home town, a place that holds a past he’d rather forget.
This marks only the third directorial feature for writer-director Kenneth Lonergan in sixteen years. Lonergan previously directed the highly impressive dramas You Can Count on Me and the under-seen, severely overlooked Margaret. He may have a short directing resume, but the man also has strong screenwriting credits, including Analyze This and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
This could very well creep up to a number of nominations come Oscar season.
Manchester by the Sea, also starring Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Gretchen Mol, Tate Donovan, Kara Hayward, and Erica McDermott, will open in the U.S. on November 18 and arrives in Australia on January 26, 2017.
Synopsis for Manchester by the Sea:
In Manchester by the Sea, 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 15-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.