After his first film as a director (You Can Count On Me) was a big success, playwright Kenneth Lonergan faced editorial and producer battles with his second, Margaret (2011). It looks like karma is rewarding those struggles as his latest, Manchester By The Sea, is drawing awards chatter, particularly for Casey Affleck's (Gone Baby Gone) soulful, haunted lead performance.
Affleck here plays Lee Chandler, who lives a quiet life in Boston, but whose existence is upended when he learns that his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) has finally succumbed to congestive heart failure. Unbeknownst to Lee, Joe made him guardian of his son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges).
Now, faced with uprooting himself and possibly moving back to his old hometown to care for his teenage nephew, Lee has to deal with his past demons and wonder whether he will actually be able to manage as a parent. And Patrick, still dealing with the loss of his dad, is unhappy with the idea that he might have to leave his school friends and girlfriends behind if Lee decides to take him to Boston instead of staying around...
With Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn), CJ Wilson (Demolition), Gretchen Mol (3:10 to Yuma) and Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) also in the cast, Manchester By The Sea is out in cinemas now.