“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 Count On Me, the latter of which premiered at Sundance and earned Oscar noms for the filmmaker’s original screenplay and Laura Linney as Best Actress. The idea for Manchester By The Sea came to Lonergan from John Krasinski and Matt Damon. The film stars Casey Affleck as a man who, after the death of his brother, is forced to return home to care for his 16-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. In addition to Lonergan, both Affleck and burgeoning star Lucas Hedges, son of filmmaker Peter Hedges, discuss their attraction to the project.
Manchester By The Sea screens Friday at the Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, Saturday at the Egyptian and Sunday at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.