Manchester By The Sea Reviewed by Clayton Barnett

The Premise
An Uncle is obliged to return home to care for his nephew after his brother dies. Unknowing he is to be the guardian and struggles with the decision. Throughout the movie he recounts past memories that caused him to leave Manchester and distancing himself from his past.
The Review
It’s Oscar bait season and by the look of the trailer alone Manchester by the Sea seemed painful heart wringing of the highest order – but this well-acted weepie, that’s actually funny, deserves all the love this awards season.
The drama has picked up six Oscar nominations and definitely packs some heavyweight emotional punches – bring the tissues boys and girls – but unlike the brutal The Light Between Oceans, Manchester by the Sea actually delivers realistic slice of life laughs that cracked me up. The regular banter between uncle and nephew - especially on the nephew’s hilarious sex life - alleviated the drama and gave the film some real heart.
Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan, who made You Can Count on Me a million years ago and the much delayed (and little seen) Margaret, has a knack for crafting fully-fledged characters and snapshots of seemingly mundane life. Like the Ambulance officers struggling with a trolley, an onset mistake Lonergan decided to keep in the film.
Casey Affleck’s already won a Golden Globe and is a frontrunner for the Oscar, but honestly he’s such a dick in this movie I’m not sure what the fuss is about. He is good but I don’t think not Oscar worthy - Ryan Gosling studied piano for three months for La La Land yet Affleck will probably win just because dramas do. Michelle Williams only has a small part but man she makes the most of it and expect to see more of Lucas Hedges who earned an Oscar a nom for his breakout performance as Casey’s nephew.
The Verdict
With a healthy mix of laughter and tears director Kenneth Lonergan delivers a deserved Oscar frontrunner, that is nipping at the heels of the fleet-footed La La Land.
The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 26th January 2017
Rating: R13 – Contains Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb
Duration: 137 minutes
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Director: Kenneth Lonergan (Margaret)
The Extras
The town was called Manchester until 1989, when resident Edward Corley led a highly controversial campaign to formally change its name to Manchester-by-the-Sea. The action was passed by the state legislature that year.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2014 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
Matt Damon was initially set to direct and star in the film.
Manchester-by-the-sea is a real town on the north shore of Massachusetts.
According to an interview with Kenneth Lonergan on DP/30, the idea for the film didn't originate with him - the main core of a character going back home to take care of a family member after a death was pitched to Lonergan by Matt Damon and John Krasinski as a script that Lonergan would write and for Damon to direct. But due to scheduling conflicts with The Martian (2015), Damon couldn't direct the film or star in it (he was considered for the role of Lee that Casey Affleck was cast in). Lonergan was then given free rein as a writer-director for the project, with Damon as producer.
Both Kara Hayward and Lucas Hedges appeared in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (2012).
Premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
When Patrick opens the freezer in the kitchen, you can see Gardein products in the door. Gardein makes vegan meat substitutes. The film's lead, Casey Affleck, is a vegan and might have been involved in the placement of the products.
This is the third film written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan after You Can Count on Me (2000) and Margaret (2011).