Manchester by the Sea (film)

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Manchester by the Sea
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
Produced by
Written by Kenneth Lonergan
Music by Lesley Barber
Cinematography Jody Lee Lipes
Edited by Jennifer Lame
Distributed by
Release dates
Running time
135 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Manchester by the Sea is an American drama film directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan. The film stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler. Lee Chandler is made a legal guardian of his dead brother's son and returns to his hometown to care for the teenage boy. Principal photography on the film began on March 23, 2015, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.


After the sudden death of Joe Chandler, his younger brother Lee is made legal guardian of his son. Lee returns to his hometown and has to deal with both his separated wife Randi and the community of North Shore.



On September 6, 2014, it was announced that Matt Damon was set to re-team with director Kenneth Lonergan for the film Manchester by the Sea, scripted by Lonergan.[7] Gigi Pritzker was in final talks to produce and finance the film through her Odd Lot Entertainment.[7] Damon and Lonergan previously worked together on the 2011 film Margaret.[7]

Pre-production began on September 8, 2014.[7] In early December 2014, while filming The Finest Hours, Casey Affleck revealed to The Boston Globe that Damon would not be starring in the film and he would be in to play his role.[8] Affleck replaced Damon on January 5, 2015. Michelle Williams was added to the cast on January 9, 2015, to play Affleck's character's wife.[2]

In March 2015 it was reported that Sierra / Affinity had come aboard to finance the film, while Kimberly Steward would produce and finance through her K Period Media, Kevin J. Walsh through his B Story, Chris Moore through CMP, and Damon through his company Pearl Street Films.[9] The film was executive produced by John Krasinski, Josh Godfrey, Declan Baldwin, and Bill Migliore. Pritzker was no longer attached to produce.[9] Kyle Chandler signed on to star in the film on February 24, 2015, playing Affleck's character's older brother.[3]


The film was previously set to take place in New England.[3] Principal photography began on March 23, 2015, in the namesake town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.[10] On the second day, filming took place on the North Shore at the locations of Beverly, Gloucester and Salem.[11]


The film premiered on January 23, 2016 in the World Premier section of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. It was subsequently acquired by Amazon for $10 million. It is set for a limited release on November 18, 2016, expanding in mid-December.[12]

Critical reception

The film has received critical acclaim. Based on 16 reviews, Manchester by the Sea holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94%, with an average rating of 8.2/10.[13] On Metacritic, it currently holds a score of 91/100, based on 10 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim."[14]


  1. Ge, Linda (January 5, 2015). "Casey Affleck Replacing Matt Damon in Kenneth Lonergan's 'Manchester-by-the-Sea'". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kit, Borys (January 9, 2014). "Michelle Williams Joining Casey Affleck in 'Manchester-by-the-Sea' (Exclusive)". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Rose, Lacey; Kit, Borys (February 24, 2015). "Kyle Chandler Joins Casey Affleck in 'Manchester-by-the-Sea' (Exclusive)". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  4. Kilday, Gregg (April 9, 2015). "Lucas Hedges Joins Casey Affleck Starrer 'Manchester-by-the-Sea'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 23, 2016. 
  5. Murray, Noel (January 23, 2016). "Sundance Review: Kenneth Lonergan’s 'Manchester By The Sea’ Starring Casey Affleck, Michele Williams & Kyle Chandler". The Playlist. 
  6. Jackson-Glidden, Brooke (2015-06-11). "Erica McDermott talks about her roles". The Boston Globe. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Kit, Borys; Siegel, Tatiana (September 6, 2014). "Toronto: Matt Damon and Kenneth Lonergan Reteaming for 'Manchester-by-the-Sea' (Exclusive)". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  8. "'Finest Hours' is the finest shoot for Casey Affleck". December 12, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 McNary, Dave (January 29, 2015). "Berlin: Casey Affleck's 'Manchester-By-The-Sea' Locks Financing". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  10. Rapalyea, Taylor (March 24, 2015). "Damon's 'Manchester-by-the-Sea' begins production in namesake town". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  11. Luca, Dustin (March 24, 2015). "Freeze frame: Independent film 'Manchester-by-the-Sea' shooting in Beverly, North Shore". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  12. Lang, Brent (March 16, 2016). "Amazon, Roadside Partner on ‘Manchester by the Sea’ Oscar Season Release (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  13. "Manchester by the Sea (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  14. "Manchester by the Sea". Metacritic. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 

External links