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Manchester by the Sea | 2016 Sundance Film Festival Review

10 hours ago | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The Fire Last Time: Lonergan’s Austere Portrait of Razed Emotions in Chilly New England

Kenneth Lonergan musters yet another masterful portrait of pervasive trauma with his third feature, Manchester by the Sea, a muted New England melodrama which feels like a brotherly companion piece to the director’s feature debut sixteen years prior, You Can Count on Me (2000). Considering the dramatic development of his sophomore feature, the superb Margaret (which filmed in 2005, and after several publicized edits, at last received a release in 2011), we should be thankful his latest hasn’t been subjected to similar agitation. Commanded by a profound, melancholy performance from Casey Affleck, this latest is a subdued, languorous drama exploring the troubled future of a Boston family when a recent death in the family causes floundering skeletons to surface. Though this isn’t nearly as emotionally thorough or ambitiously monumental as either of the auteur’s first two titles, »

- Nicholas Bell

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'Manchester by the Sea': The Story Behind Sundance 2016's Best Movie

1 February 2016 6:48 AM, PST | | See recent Rolling Stone news »

If you've seen writer-director Kenneth Lonergan's work before — the handful of films and half-dozen one-acts and plays he's penned to date — you understand why he's racked up numerous theater awards, Oscar nods and a Pulitzer nomination. And if you're lucky enough to meet Lonergan, you'll understand where that singular voice comes from. Sitting in a crowded Sundance Film Festival lodge off of Main Street, the shaggy, bespectacled 53-year-old director of You Can Count on Me and Margaret acts like a Kenneth Lonergan character.acts like a Kenneth Lonergan character. »

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Sundance: what were the buzz titles of 2016?

31 January 2016 12:37 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Sundance Film Festival marks a fresh start to the film calendar. Just as awards season is winding down, new artistic agendas are kicking off all over Park City.

Sundance is a festival unsullied by headline-sucking studio ‘out-of-competition’ launches, making it purely about the programming line-up, split neatly between docs and dramatic, world and Us, premieres and competitive. In that sense, there was one big winner: Nate Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation, which won the Grand Jury Prize in the Us Dramatic section and also walked away with the Audience Award and a record-breaking $17.5m deal from Fox Searchlight.

Netflix had actually offered more for the confrontational, provocative, agenda-changing film which will be pushed for next year’s awards to put a halt to Oscars-being-so-white. In fact, Netflix and Amazon were active throughout Sundance, chasing down quality, prestige English-language projects as opposed to bulk-buying. (This isn’t cable programming; this is taste-making. If a film »

- (Fionnuala Halligan)

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‘Manchester By The Sea’s Kenneth Lonergan On Directing Just Three Films In 16 Years – Sundance Studio

27 January 2016 1:31 PM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

“I’m not someone who loves moviemaking,” says Kenneth Lonergan, whose writing credits on such films as Gangs of New York and Analyze This greatly out number his directing credits. In fact, the director behind the Sundance Film Festival entry Manchester By The Sea, which was the first of the fest’s big pickups at $10M, prefers it that way and explains his reasons here. Manchester By The Sea marks Lonergan’s third directorial following 2011’s Margaret and 2000’s You Can Coun… »

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Scott Reviews Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea [Sundance 2016]

27 January 2016 1:17 PM, PST | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

A note for readers – although I will attempt not to reveal crucial plot details that don’t fall under the general umbrella of the film’s premise (and which will certainly be incorporated into future trailers and the like), everyone has their own definitions of these things, so consider this fair warning.

All three of Kenneth Lonergan’s films deal with how people cope after tragedies. In You Can Count on Me, it was the past – two siblings who lost their parents in a car accident at a young age develop different ways of surviving that. In Margaret, the present; a teenager witnesses a horrific bus accident that leaves a woman dead in her arms. Manchester by the Sea folds a tragedy of the past into one of the present.

Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is a handyman for a block of Boston apartments.. He’s stuck in mundanity – shoveling snow, »

- Scott Nye

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Review: Casey Affleck's amazing work anchors fest best 'Manchester By The Sea'

27 January 2016 12:20 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Grief is a terrible animal, red of claw and tooth, and once it gets hold of you, there is no way of knowing what it will do to you. Over the last year, I've watched a dear friend of mine struggle with back to back losses of two of the most important people in her life, and at times, I've genuinely worried that it would be too much for her to take. This is a strong, vibrant person, and grief landed on her in a way that very nearly crushed all of that joy and vitality right out of her. I've had my own bouts with profound sorrow over the last year as a result of the end of my marriage, and while I feel like I've reached the other side of all of that, I remain shaken by just how damaged I was by things. For the first time in my adult life, »

- Drew McWeeny

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Timothy Olyphant to Star Off Broadway in New Kenneth Lonergan Play

26 January 2016 11:30 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Timothy Olyphant, the actor who headlined six season in FX series “Justified,” will star Off Broadway in the world premiere of “Hold On To Me Darling,” the new play by current Sundance darling Kenneth Lonergan.

Olyphant hasn’t been on the New York stage since a 1996 stint in David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries.” For his return he’ll collaborate with Lonergan, the playwright (“This Is Our Youth”) and filmmaker (“Margaret”) whose new movie, “Manchester by the Sea,” is the focus of strong buzz out of Sundance.

Adelaide Clemens (“Rectify”), Jonathan Hogan, Jenn Lyon, Keith Nobbs and C.J. Wilson will appear alongside Olyphant in the play, bowing at the Atlantic Theater Company under the direction of Atlantic artistic director Neil Pepe. The storyline follows a famous country singer (Olyphant) who decides to chuck it all and move back to his Tennessee hometown.

The casting of Olyphant serves as the latest headturning »

- Gordon Cox

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Christine | 2016 Sundance Film Festival Review

25 January 2016 11:15 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Mad as Hell: Campos Paints a Moving, Psychological Portrait of Sensational Subject

For his third and most psychologically complex feature to date, Antonio Campos presents a series of instances leading up to the tragic death of news journalist Christine Chubbuck, a Floridian woman who infamously committed suicide on live television in 1974. The incident was partially the inspiration for the classic 1976 film Network, but the Chubbuck tragedy eventually became a journalistic case study, eventually a footnote in the passing decades, eclipsed by more sensational, more horrific examples of the increasingly lurid direction of news media. Instead of capitalizing on Chubbuck’s inevitable demise, Campos and screenwriter Craig Shilowich (the producer making his screenwriting debut), craft an expertly moderated character study for Christine, studiously and painstakingly portrayed by Rebecca Hall in what surely stands as her most accomplished screen performance to date.

In 1974 Sarasota, Florida, 29-year-old news reporter Christine Chubbuck (Hall »

- Nicholas Bell

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Sundance Review: Was Kenneth Lonergan's 'Manchester By the Sea' Worth the $10 Million Price Tag?

25 January 2016 8:12 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: The 2016 Sundance Film Festival Bible The commodification of art can easily hijack discussions of its worth, but when art lands in a marketplace, the lines tend to blur. So it comes with the territory that the enthusiasm greeting the Sundance premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's followup to his 2011 sleeper hit "Margaret," the sullen family drama "Manchester By the Sea," has been accompanied by news of a lucrative deal. Amazon's $10 million acquisition for U.S. rights to the movie suggest high hopes for the film to have broad appeal and serious awards consideration. Certainly the company will push for it. But is it worth the cash-fueled hype? That's a trickier question. Lonergan's come-from-behind saga with "Margaret," his ambitious coming-of-age tale that was embroiled in studio bickering and rescued by a passionate crusade of supportive critics, makes it easy to root for "Manchester By the Sea" to set things right. »

- Eric Kohn

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Manchester-by-the-Sea nets Amazon deal

25 January 2016 4:54 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The streaming service has paid $10m for the Us rights to Kenneth Lonergan’s much anticipated latest feature, a major deal for Sundance 2016

The Sundance film festival has seen the latest big-money move by streaming services to take on the established players in high-profile feature film-making, as Amazon picked up Us rights to Manchester-by-the-Sea, for $10m.

The much-anticipated film marks the return of director Kenneth Lonergan, whose sparse but highly acclaimed directorial record comprises 2000’s You Can Count on Me and 2011’s Margaret, which was glowingly reviewed, but sunk by delays and lawsuits. Manchester-by-the-Sea features Casey Affleck as a handyman mired in depression who becomes his nephew’s guardian. Michelle Williams also stars.

Continue reading »

- Andrew Pulver

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Amazon Scores Sundance Hit "Manchester"

25 January 2016 4:29 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Amazon has closed a $10 million deal for domestic rights to "Margaret" writer/director Kenneth Lonergan's drama "Manchester By The Sea" reports Deadline.

Premiering on Saturday to the best reviews of the Sundance Film Festival so far, Casey Affleck plays a man who - after the death of his brother - is forced to return home to care for his sixteen-year old nephew and confront a tragic past that separated him from his family and the community where he was raised.

Kyle Chandler and Michelle Williams also star with Williams in particular already generating Oscar buzz for next year for her performance. Beating out Sony, Universal, Fox and Lionsgate, Amazon plans a traditional theatrical release with an awards season campaign.

Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Kevin Walsh and Lauren Beck produce the film. »

- Garth Franklin

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Sundance Dispatch 2: Manchester by the Sea, Lo and Behold and All These Sleepless Nights

24 January 2016 3:48 PM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

The hype machine has gone well into overdrive on Manchester by the Sea, to the point that many not here but monitoring Twitter are already properly irritable/skeptical. I’ll keep it brief: now past the tribulations of Margaret‘s legal travails, attenuated release and masterpiece status (it’s true!), Kenneth Lonergan has made a very, very strong film. Margaret spun out the complications of a moment’s carelessness and tragedy in multiple directions — legally, personally, professionally — from a single starting point. Manchester processes twin strands of tragedy, both immediate and long-term. Immediate: surly drunk Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is yanked out of his Boston handyman routine by his brother’s sudden […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Daily | Sundance 2016 | Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea

24 January 2016 11:33 AM, PST | Keyframe | See recent Keyframe news »

"The persistence of grief and the hope of redemption are themes as timeless as dramaturgy itself," begins Variety's Justin Chang, "but rarely do they summon forth the kind of extraordinary swirl of love, anger, tenderness and brittle humor that is Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan’s beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama about how a death in the family forces a small-town New Englander to confront a past tragedy anew." We're gathering reviews of Lonergan’s followup to You Can Count on Me and Margaret starring Casey Affleck, Michele Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, C.J. Wilson, Heather Burns, Tate Donovan, Josh Hamilton, Anna Baryshnikov, Matthew Broderick and Gretchen Mol. » - David Hudson »

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Amazon Lands Huge Deal for Sundance Sensation 'Manchester By the Sea'

24 January 2016 11:06 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

It's Complicated: How Netflix and Amazon Add a Big Wrinkle to Sundance Deal Making The 2016 Sundance Film Festival got its first major breakout last night with the world premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's domestic drama "Manchester By the Sea." Earning the strongest reviews so far for any feature at the festival, the movie set off a huge bidding war between a handful of major studio and indie distributors -- including Sony Pictures Classics, Universal, Fox Searchlight and Lionsgate -- but it's streaming platform Amazon that has come off on top. According to reports from Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, the company has paid upwards of $10 million for the drama. Lonergan's third feature after "You Can Count on Me" and "Margaret," "Manchester" stars Casey Affleck as a man who moves back to his New England home in order to take care of his recently-deceased brother's 16-year-old son. Kyle Chandler and »

- Zack Sharf

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Amazon Nabs Rights to ‘Manchester by the Sea’ at Sundance

24 January 2016 9:52 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Update: Amazon has closed a deal for domestic rights to Kenneth Lonergan’s acclaimed “Manchester by the Sea.” Bidding reached $10 million and Amazon will have to find a theatrical distributor. It’s committed to an awards season campaign, as Oscar buzz is already following the pic. Variety first reported Amazon’s bid.

Fox Searchlight and Focus Features were also in the mix for the drama about a grief-stricken Boston handyman (Casey Affleck). Wme handled sales. Other distributors, such as the Weinstein Co. and Broad Green, did not bid. The film also drew early interest from Tri-Star, but no offer. Foreign rights to the film are still available.

“Manchester by the Sea” is the much anticipated return of Kenneth Lonergan, the writer and director of “You Can Count on Me.” The release of Lonergan’s most recent effort “Margaret” was delayed for years as the filmmaker struggled to turn his story »

- Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang

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[Sundance Review] Manchester By the Sea

24 January 2016 8:37 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With his unassuming, quietly affecting films leaving such a distinctly indelible impact long after the credits roll, we may only have three films from Kenneth Lonergan across sixteen years, but they provide a lifetime’s worth of human experience. His latest, Manchester By the Sea, finds him in the quaint northeastern Massachusetts town as he immaculately constructs a layered, non-linear exploration of the ripple effects of loss and grief.

Appearing in nearly every scene of the drama is Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, living out his lonely life in Boston working as a handyman for a group of four apartment buildings. A phone call from his hometown informs him that his brother Joe’s (Kyle Chandler) long-diagnosed congestive heart failure finally caught up with him. Passing away before Lee makes it home, he must now deal with the aftermath of his brother’s death and the ocean of grief that it brings, »

- Jordan Raup

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Manchester-by-the-Sea review: Kenneth Lonergan's morose echo of Margaret

24 January 2016 4:52 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams lead a starry cast in Lonergan’s long-awaited latest – but the impact of this impressive drama is suffocated by the silence and suffering of its central character

One of the buzziest films of this year’s festival, Manchester-by-the-Sea is the long-awaited return for director Kenneth Lonergan, who premiered his debut, You Can Count on Me, at Sundance in 2000, but whose critically-adored followup, Margaret (2011), was mired in distribution hell.

There’s much expectation for his latest, therefore; further fuelled by the star-wattage of a cast that includes Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler.

Continue reading »

- Lanre Bakare

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Sundance: Manchester By The Sea

23 January 2016 9:22 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Kenneth Lonergan’s triumphant return to Park City after his 2000 grand jury prizewinner You Can Count On Me has sparked talk of possible awards recognition following Saturday’s world premiere.Every buyer was in attendance at the Eccles to see Casey Affleck play a traumatised janitor in Boston who becomes the guardian of his teenage nephew when his brother dies.Lucas Hedges plays the youngster in a strong cast that includes Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandl


Kenneth Lonergan’s triumphant return to Park City after his 2000 grand jury prizewinner You Can Count On Me has sparked talk of possible awards recognition following Saturday’s world premiere.

Every buyer was in attendance at the Eccles to see Casey Affleck play a traumatised janitor in Boston who becomes the guardian of his teenage nephew when his brother dies.

Lucas Hedges plays the youngster in a strong cast that includes Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Gretchen Moll.

Lonergan earned »

- (Jeremy Kay)

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Manchester by the Sea’

23 January 2016 8:00 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The persistence of grief and the hope of redemption are themes as timeless as dramaturgy itself, but rarely do they summon forth the kind of extraordinary swirl of love, anger, tenderness and brittle humor that is “Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan’s beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama about how a death in the family forces a small-town New Englander to confront a past tragedy anew. That rather diagrammatic description does little justice to Lonergan’s ever-incisive ear for the rhythms of human conversation, as he orchestrates an unruly suite of alternately sympathetic and hectoring voices — all of which stand in furious contrast to Casey Affleck’s bone-deep performance as a man whom loss has all but petrified into silence. Giving flesh and blood to the idea that life goes on even when it no longer seems worth living, “Manchester” may be too sprawling a vision for all arthouse tastes, »

- Justin Chang

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Sundance Review: Kenneth Lonergan’s 'Manchester By The Sea’ Starring Casey Affleck, Michele Williams & Kyle Chandler

23 January 2016 7:28 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Toward the end of Kenneth Lonergan’s magnificently messy, painfully real “Manchester by the Sea,” Casey Affleck’s Lee Chandler stands at the gravesite of his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), looking at a stone with three names engraved on it: their mother’s, their father’s, and Joe’s. In the lower right-hand corner, there’s an open space, yet to be filled. Maybe the spot will go to their absent brother, who’s recently moved from Massachusetts to Minnesota. Maybe it belongs to Joe’s 16-year-old son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), whose own future and legacy is largely what “Manchester by the Sea” is about. Or maybe it’s supposed to go to Lee… the Chandler that nobody likes. Lonergan’s an award-winning playwright, but has had a complicated history as a filmmaker. His first movie, 2000’s “You Can Count on Me,” was a modest, perfect gem, which won a »

- Noel Murray

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