Since premiering to universal raves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival—where it was bought by Amazon for a staggering $10 million—Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea has been tapped by most critics as a major player come Oscar time. One look at the just-released first trailer, and it’s easy to see what all the fuss is about.
Casey Affleck delivers a career-changing performance as a man who returns to his sleepy New England town after the death of his brother. It’s a familiar premise that gets thrown for an unexpected loop when Affleck’s character becomes his nephew’s legal guardian. Together, they’re forced to confront their family’s checkered past while trying to negotiate an uncertain future.
Anyone who’s seen Lonergan’s feature debut—the beloved You Can Count on Me—knows how good he is at doing domestic drama. And since Lonergan’s only made one film since, the uneven Margaret, it’s safe to say that Manchester by the Sea is a pretty big deal.
Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, and Michelle Williams round a cast that will leave you weeping when the film hits theaters November 18. Roadside Attractions will be handling the theatrical distribution. Watch the wrenching first trailer above.