‘Manchester by the Sea’
(R; 135 minutes; Amazon): No matter what you think of Casey Affleck personally, “Manchester By the Sea” is a deeply moving film by Kenneth Lonergan about family, loss and perseverance – and you should see it. The controversial Affleck – who is nominated for an Oscar and already has won a number of awards for his role, including the Golden Globe – is pretty remarkable here, playing a man struggling to keep his own life together when he is called upon to care for his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges) after his older brother dies. It also stars Michelle Williams (also nominated for an Oscar this year, as is the film itself) and Kyle Chandler.
(R; 139 minutes; Summit): This film, another favorite of the Academy (six nominations total, including Best Picture), is directed by Mel Gibson (nominated). It tells the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield, nominated) as a World War II Army medic who, as a conscientious objector, saved 75 men at the battle at Okinawa without ever carrying or firing a gun. Doss was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Medal of Honor. The action is extremely violent, but balanced by an “understanding of the psychological devastation that war wreaks” (New Yorker).
(R; 115; Focus): Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals” completes this week’s Oscar Hat Trick, thanks to a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Michael Shannon. It’s a haunting (and sometimes confusing) romantic thriller that explores the lines between love and cruelty, revenge and redemption. Amy Adams plays a wealthy art gallery owner who is disturbed by the violent novel written by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal), which she sees as a veiled threat and tale of revenge. The film flips between real life and the action of the novel. Shannon plays a character in the novel, a detective investigating the murder of the protagonist’s wife, who is played by Isla Fisher (Gyllenhaal plays both the ex-husband in real life and the husband character in the novel).
Also out Feb. 21
- “Bad Santa 2”
- “Doctor Who: Return of Doctor Mysterio”
- “Grace and Frankie: Season 2”
- “Nashville: Season 4”