Toronto Star

Why Manchester by the Sea could win Best Picture


We’re handicappi­ng the odds on the nine Best Picture contenders for the Feb. 26 Academy Awards. Today: Manchester by the Sea. Quick pitch: Haunted by tragedies, a depressed handyman (Casey Affleck) reluctantl­y returns to the seaside town he once called home. He’s been made legal guardian of his teenage nephew (Lucas Hedges). Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler. Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan Nomination­s: 6 Key early kudos: BAFTA, Golden Globes Best Actor (Affleck); BAFTA Best Screenplay (Lonergan). Box office (domestic, U.S. dollars): $46.2 million. Ladbrokes odds: 20/1 Paddy Power: 12/1 Sky Bet: 25/1 Why it could win: There’s heartbreak but also humour in writer/director Lonergan’s commanding screenplay and direction, with stellar acting backing him in every frame. Why it might not: The story might be too bleak for an Academy that seems ready to swoon for the wistful charms of La La Land. Howell’s line: Majestic efforts make for masterful drama, but probably not Oscar gold. Full review:

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