“Manchester by the Sea” is one of the year’s best movies. That’s also why you should avoid its trailer, which debuted online on Wednesday, seven months after “Manchester” became one of January’s most adored Sundance films.
Take it from me: The movie is best experienced without any prior knowledge. After its buzz spread around Sundance, I crawled out of bed for an 8:30 a.m. screening without knowing many specifics, other than the film’s director (”You Can Count On Me” maestro Kenneth Lonergan) and stars (Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler). I then spent two hours in a blissful state of grief.
“Manchester” is remarkably moving, but the trailer spoils too much, including a scene between Affleck and Williams that became the talk of the festival (and could soon become the talk of Oscar conversations). If you need a brief synopsis, use IMDb’s: “An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.” Otherwise, just wait until the movie hits theaters on Nov. 18.
If you simply must watch the trailer, it’s below.