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.Written by
When Lee and Patrick are searching for Lee's misplaced car, they twice reverse the direction of their walking. In sequential camera angles the snow on the side appears dramatically different, sometimes showing large snowbanks cut by a snow blower, sometimes showing small piles. See more »
In Australia, the film was originally passed MA-15+ uncut, however the distributors opted to re-edit the audio and cut the length of the film, in order to remove every use of the term 'c-t' and 'motherf--er'. Following these changes the film was later re-classified and the rating was lowered to 'M'. See more »
Placed in charge of his teen nephew after his brother passes away, a morose handyman confronts inner demons and reevaluates his life in this downbeat drama starring Casey Affleck. The film gets off to a solid start as we witness Affleck's humdrum existence and the moody residents who he has to deal with. As the film progresses though, it adopts a stream of consciousness narrative style, flipping back and forth between Affleck's memories and the present day as he processes his brother's death and his new role in his nephew's life. This provides an emotional wallop at one point as we discover just what happened to his doting daughters, but generally speaking, the flipping back and forth in time is unhelpful, subtracting from the immediacy of the drama unfolding. The film also grows repetitive as the same issues are debated between uncle and nephew time and time again. There are some really good touches late in the piece though (Affleck imaging his daughters; a confrontation with Michelle Williams) and the entire project is shot with thought and consideration; the way Affleck is only ever visible in the background when we first see the grown-up nephew at an ice rink works very well. Still, it is hard not to expect a little more from an Oscar winning film and though solid a movie as it is, it would be interesting to see the film play out in chronological order instead.
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