For his followup to the brilliant, if barely released Margaret, Kenneth Lonergan delivers a fistful of melancholic comedy in the surprising, deftly written Manchester by the Sea, which stars Casey Affleck as a man coming apart under the weight of multiple tragedies.
Manchester by the Sea is playing now. You probably will not see a better written or acted film this year. My review is at PopMatters:
“It’s not a good disease.” Diagnosed with cancer at the start of Manchester by the Sea, Joe Chandler (Kyle Chandler) asks his doctor if there are any good diseases. “Poison ivy,” she replies, with the barest hint of a grin. At that, Joe’s wife Elise (Gretchen Mol), furious that they’re joking at a time like this, storms out of the hospital room. Elise might be best advised not to watch Manchester by the Sea, a nearly perfect example of how to weave humor throughout tragedy…
Here is the trailer: