Kenneth Lonergan, where you been all my life?

I’ve been a bad girl here at the tail end of 2016. After more defeats than victories in human connections department, I went back into a bit of a hermit mode, knowing full well I had a life line coming on December 31st (best friend from Rochester arriving).

But there’s a silver lining in every cloud, like last night, renting a Kenneth Lonergan film from 2000 from our local library. I enjoyed Manchester By the Sea so much that I decided to go back in time. And what a pleasure! I already love Laura Linney (Savages still my favorite), and just like the aforementioned she was given an Oscar nom for this film You Can Count on Me. Mark Ruffalo, another precious acting resource (favorite film Foxcatcher) and Matthew Broderick (best kissing scene in this one that I’ve seem in quite some time). And my God, little Rory Culkin, a cutie, who I just noticed won a Gotham award last year for a film called Gabriel (will put it on the list).

Not knowing him well, I learned that Kenneth Lonergan has always used music to evoke emotion. In You Can Count on Me he chose country tunes to show the simplistic and base problems of a small New York town.

I laughed and I cried at this beautiful brother sister relationship. This is a great rental and companion piece to Manchester By the Sea.

Happy New Year and I resolve to get my groove back in 2017.

Manchester by the Sea, Sweet Glorious Sadness

I stick by my stance of amore` for this film, in spite of people I’ve talked to, who comment, “But it’s so sad!”

What can I say, even in a sunny Floridian December, you can’t help but feel a little melancholy (re. John Lennon’s “So this Is Christmas”). Trust me, I’m not maudlin about anything, other than I won’t be with my son on Christmas, BUT I do appreciate some sap when it is expertly acted.

Broken record here in how much I like Michelle Williams (singing her praises most recently in a recent blog about “Certain Women”). I don’t think she’ll get the reward she deserves for this as there are too many other political contenders, BUT she certainly deserves it.

Fortunately the star of the movie, capitals S-T-A-R, Casey Affleck did win the Critics Award just last night for his portrayal of a broken man (no spoilers as promised). Just get thee to a movie theater and witness acting genius. And might I add a girlish comment that I actually liked his demure Joaquin Pheonix-esque aceptance speech. Make no mistake, this guy’s got some real demons to be able to dive this deep. Let’s just hope he can stay afloat and not do self-harm (aka Hoffman, Ledger, etc.).

The teenager in the movie also won a critic’s award last night, though I didn’t tune in in time to see this presentation. Lucas Hedges was a natural and has that Ron Howard with a nasty steroid reaction edge.

Manchester By the Sea’s screenwriter/director is Kenneth Lonergan who wrote another movie “You Can Count on Me” I’ll be seeking out. YCCOM came out in 2000 before my film infatuation began, but with Linney, Ruffalo and Broderick in it, I’m ashamed I did not know of it. Broderick, by the way, makes a cameo appearance in Manchester By the Sea and the packed house at Burns Court’s reaction was cute, a collective titter, of “oh, how sweet, Matthew Broderick”.

Go see this film and you’ll be shouting Casey Affleck when they announce the nominees for best actor in the next award show.