Manchester By The Sea

Institute History

  • 2016 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother’s heart has given out suddenly, and he’s been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren’t enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.

Casey Affleck’s astonishing performance captures all the substance and crumbling complexity of Lee—a guy frozen in anguish and barely holding it together—who must now step beyond self-imposed isolation to connect with his nephew. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me, 2000 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner) masterfully depicts human brokenness and the possibility of transformation through subtle, small moments between characters. There are no quick fixes in the working-class New England town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, just the imperfect struggle to meet loss with integrity and decency, day by day.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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