If you feel ashamed to be laughing, then Lonergan has got you exactly where he wants you-stirred and confounded, casting around for breaks in the cloud of sadness.
It's hard to overstate the magnificence of Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea.
Because Lonergan is so true to the intricacies and rhythms of family strife, we trust his vision. When it comes time for the fade-out, he doesn't gussy up sorrow with a sunrise glow. Healing is hard.
Matt Zoller Seitz
The funniest movie about grief ever made -- but that's far from the only remarkable thing about it.
Leaves you with the feeling you've just lived a whole separate lifetime and are re-entering, dazed, into your own.
Featuring Casey Affleck in an Oscar-caliber performance, it's a deeply affecting little gem of a film, which should gently sweep filmgoers up in its melancholy tides.
Manchester by the Sea is formula-free and one of a kind, with only as much resolution as the steely grip of the past will allow.
No film this year has moved me more with its humor, heart and humanity. Engrave the name Casey Affleck on the Oscar for Best Actor right now, so extraordinary and engulfing is his performance.
Lonergan's film reveals itself as a wellspring of urgently needed compassion and grace.