• Kenneth Lonergan cements himself as one of the great screenwriters of the 21st century
  • An achievement for Casey Affleck in his Oscar-winning role (his “I can’t beat it” is devastating). With the flashback structure it’s sort of like the creation of an emotional monster in reverse.
  • He’s at his wits end—antisocial, fight in bar (a call back later)
  • Shoveling in winter- this is a winter story and the thawing of the ground for the Kyle Chandler’s character body, the use of the boat with warmer weather at the end and the hint of a smile on Affleck is significant
  • It’s not just great writing in the big moments (the meeting on the street with Michelle Williams, the police station) and the dialogue—but also in the formal repetition (though not much here visually) and call-backs. Extremely economic without feeling predictiable or constricted. We have Lucas Hedges’ character losing it with his freezer, the focus on Affleck’s apartment (a self-made prison cell but says he’s looking for one with an extra room at the end) as furniture as a sign of his growth
  • Like Margaret we have the operatic classic score here
  • Longergan is a master of the family drama- You Can Count on Me, Margaret, Manchester – an impressive oeuvre – raw, realism— it’s not like the other gifted 21st century screenwriters like The Coen brothers, Aaron Sorkin, O. Russell, Charlie Kaufman, Tarantino
  • The supporting work around Casey is incredible—Michelle Williams, Gretchen Mol in a key scene- Lucas Hedges is a revelation—nom for him, Williams—wins for Casey and Lonergan for writing
  • It’s combative but authentic—no bow on the ending. It’s funny at moments and there’s a clear performance chemistry between Hedges and Affleck
  • The gut-punch flashback scene— my god—tragedy. The acting in the police station is a tour-de-force from Affleck
a tour-de-force from Affleck
  • The town is very much a part of the film- reoccurring shots of the sea— it’s not just going from living room to living room for the 137 minute running time
  • Slow-motion during funeral
  • Two of the best actors of their generation- Affleck and Williams- the heavyweight meeting on the screen—just exceptional work
Two of the best actors of their generation- Affleck and Williams- the heavyweight meeting on the screen—just exceptional 
  • HR – Highly Recommend