High-profile Casey Affleck profiles are starting to pop up. They’re all saying his Manchester by the Sea performance (i.e., the sullen, broken-hearted Lee Chandler) is the crowning achievement of his career. 19 out of of 22 Gold Derby “experts” (myself among them) now have Affleck as the most likely Oscar champ in the Best Actor category. I’ve posted this a couple of times before, but ten minutes after Manchester By The Sea finished playing at Park City’s Eccles theatre on 1.23.16 I said Affleck’s performance was “locked” for a nomination. I knew what I’d seen and felt.
The only thing could get in the way is…well, Casey isn’t all that great at lightweight banter and fooling around and being glib on talk shows. It’s just who he is. He’s quiet but a good guy. That Stephen Colbert contretemps was hilarious.
Posted on 1.23.16: “Affleck has delivered the finest, most affecting performance of his life, and in part because he’s lucked into one of the best written lonely-sad-guy roles in years, and because the part, that of Lee Chandler, a Boston janitor and handyman struggling with a horrific mistake that has wounded him for life, taps into that slightly downcast melancholy thing that Affleck has always carried around. It’s like when Gregory Peck played Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird -— it’s one of those legendary perfect fits.”