After earning rave reviews at Sundance earlier this year, Kenneth Lonergan's coastal drama Manchester by the Sea has been pegged as an early Oscar contender. Amazon secured the rights for $10M, one of the largest in the festival's history, and now they're making the most of it by setting it with November 18th theatrical release date.
Amazon is partnering with Roadside Attractions on the theatrical distribution, which will begin as a platform release then expand nationally mid-December. There will also be a digital streaming component that has not been clarified yet. The film stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and Kyle Chandler in the story of a working class Boston man who returns home to be guardian of his deceased brother's teenage son.
In my glowing review of the film I questioned whether it was too low-key to gain much audience attention. Lonergan doesn't really make crowd pleasers, and Manchester by the Sea doesn't change that, but with the proper awards push we could see it get the attention it definitely deserves. Don't be surprised if Casey Affleck ends up on the Best Actor shortlist, as well.