Lee (Affleck) works as a janitor in a Boston suburb. When his older brother (Chandler) passes away, he returns to his hometown on the North Shore of Massachusetts for the funeral. To his dismay, he discovers that his teenage nephew (Hedges) has been left in his charge. The two try to make the best of things, but Lee is desperate to get some distance from his ex-wife (Williams), and the tragic memories that haunt him.
Lonergan’s poignant tale of unimaginable heartbreak establishes him as one of America’s finest contemporary writer/directors. Affleck took home the Best Actor Oscar for his restrained yet resonant performance, but the whole cast is superb- most notably Williams, who never seems to disappoint. No surprise that the screenplay also won an Oscar; it’s masterful stuff… but also pretty intense. Bring tissues!