Be prepared to get your heart ripped out by Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams in this, one of the more emotionally powerful movie experiences of 2016.
Affleck plays Lee, uncle to Patrick (Lucas Hedges), who must return to his hometown and raise his nephew after his brother (Kyle Chandler) dies. Lee is a true mess, and we learn through flashbacks what got him to his messed up state. He’s battling some major past tragedy on top of his brother’s death, and there’s no telling how things will work out for him and Patrick. The flashbacks are brutal, revealing things that go beyond terrible, and it’s no wonder Lee is having coping issues.
Affleck has turned in good work before, but nothing like what he does in this film. He’s incredible. Williams turns in a blistering performance as Lee’s ex-wife, and a scene Affleck and Williams share together is guaranteed to knock you on your ass, and will probably earn them both Oscar nominations. Hedges is mighty good as the confused teen dealing with the loss of his dad and his somewhat strange uncle.
Kenneth Lonergan directs from his own screenplay, and he’s put together some kind of movie miracle. His last big film was You Can Count On Me sixteen years ago. He’s definitely one of the great cinema comeback stories of 2016.
Besides being so emotionally powerful that you might dehydrate from crying, this movie also has some big laughs in it. It is an instant classic.