Manchester by the Sea

Directed by Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea is a shattering yet graceful storyof loss, grief, and the complexity of forgiveness—not just forgiving other people who’ve caused you pain, but forgiving yourself for inflicting pain on others. 

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. 

Director Lonergan has a fine eye for little indignities that turn tragedy into farce. He explained, “I wanted to explore unimaginable grief because we always hear about such things and wonder how people get through.” 

While the subject matter of Manchester by the Sea sounds grim, the film in fact is filled with humour. As Lonergan points out — no matter how unimaginably tragic a situation and how deep the grief, life doesn’t stop and and the living have a way of refusing to allow their loved ones to give up on themselves. 

Manchester by the Sea is the kind of movie you’ll want to see a second time with someone who hasn’t seen it yet, to remember what it was like to watch it for the first time. 

Words by Megan Laws

Image by Universal Pictures

Details: Released: 02 February 2017 | Rated MA | 138 minutes