- Title: Grief takes unusual path in 'Manchester by the Sea'
- Date: 16th November 2016
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 14, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, CASEY AFFLECK, SAYING: "I think it's a complicated experience. I think that people go to this movie. Well first of all let me just preface this by saying that my perspective of it is going to be different than anyone else's so I'll just tell you what other people said about the movie which is that they find it to be very funny and surprisingly moving." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, LUCAS HEDGES, SAYING: "These stories aren't told. We have an idea about what stories should be told but but where does that leave the person whose children or... I don't want to give anything away but what about a family, a father whose son commits suicide? That's not what happens in this but that man, what happens to that man? And what happens to somebody who's dealt a hand that they cannot recover from?"
- Embargoed: 1st December 2016 19:33
- Keywords: Casey Affleck Kenny Logerman Michelle Williams Lucas Hedges Manchester by the Sea
- Location: LOS ANGELES/BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS;
- City: LOS ANGELES/BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS;
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00258OYOGD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: 'Manchester by the Sea' has been seen as one of the frontrunners in the upcoming award season since it premiered at the Sundance film festival in January.
Casey Affleck stars as Lee Chandler a man with a troubled past, who, after his brother dies, becomes the legal guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges).
The film has surprised critics with its often light-hearted approach to grief and its unconventional storytelling.
While Affleck describes it as a "complicated experience," his co-star Lucas Hedges said "These stories aren't told. We have an idea about what stories should be told... What about a family, a father whose son commits suicide? That's not what happens in this but that man, what happens to that man? And what happens to somebody who's dealt a hand that they cannot recover from?"
The film is the work of playwright and screenplay writer Kenny Lonergan, who after Matt Damon dropped out of directing the project was allowed to take the director's chair himself.
Actress Michelle Williams, who plays Affleck's ex-wife Randi, had nothing but praise for the writer, saying "It's very rare to read material like this. Kenny (Lonergan) is a playwright of the highest order. Kenny is one of the greatest playwrights ever, he just happens to be alive and writing in our time and his screenplays are as careful as his plays so he weaves all of that in there for you."
In the film, Lee Chandler has to return to his home town of Manchester by the Sea, which holds extremely unhappy memories for him, which are revealed in flashbacks during the film.
As he tries to muster responsibility to look after his nephew Patrick, occasionally Chandler's emotions get too much for him.
"There wasn't a lot of money to make this movie and not a lot of time," said Hedges. "It's difficult when you don't have the luxury of time, so it wasn't a relaxed set. It was somewhat tense and that's not the worst thing to have a tense set on a movie like this because there's a lot of tension in the story."
According to critics, award season could well favor all three of the main cast (Affleck, Hedges, Williams) even though Michelle Williams is only in the over two hour film for a reported six minutes.
"For me playing a small part is just as consuming as playing a big part because she's a full person and she needs my full attention inside and outside," explained Williams. "I can't leave some part of her undone just because she only has three scenes or something but in those scenes I have to communicate.... I don't have a lot of time in which to communicate a lot about a person."
And Lonergan is high in the running for both director and writing nods.
"I've never read or seen anything that he's done that wasn't exquisite," said Affleck, who appeared in Lonergan's play "This is our Youth" in London alongside his executive producer Matt Damon. "I don't think he needed anyone in his corner. I think it was a privilege to be in his corner and to feel like you were fighting for something that was worthwhile."
'Manchester by the Sea' goes on release in the US on November 18.
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