Magazine December 31, 2016, Issue

Dark Journey

Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea (Roadside Attractions)

Manchester by the Sea is the kind of movie that critics are pretty much required to like. It offers an actors’ clinic, with a brace of talented performers inhabiting the heavily accented paths of a north-of-Boston Irish Catholic clan. It has a mournful soundtrack, a colloquial, closely observed script, and a story whose central tragedy is designed to strip you raw. The writer-director, Kenneth Lonergan, and the star, Casey Affleck, are both major talents who haven’t had their biggest breakthroughs yet; if they want it, Manchester by the Sea has the feel of a career turning point for both.

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