Kenneth Lonergan

"Lonergan’s films are about people who can’t get over their past traumas, but he also finds great beauty and humanity in their struggles. This best manifests itself in his use of humor, where small truths sneak to the surface." - Chris O'Falt (IndieWire, 2017)

Kenneth Lonergan

Director / Screenwriter
(1962- ) Born October 16, New York City, New York, USA
21st Century's Top 100 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Drama, Family Drama, Psychological Drama, Slice of Life
Key Collaborators: Matthew Broderick (Character Actor), Mark Ruffalo (Leading Actor), Anne McCabe (Editor), J. Smith-Cameron (Leading Character Actress), Lesley Barber (Composer)

"Watching any of Lonergan's stage plays, it becomes obvious that his interest is in intimate, character-driven narratives - the effects of the past on our handling of the present, and the manner in which we communicate, or more often mis-communicate, with one another. Independently produced, You Can Count on Me offers no kooky, cutting-edge surprises. Evenly paced and conventionally shot, it is more traditional in spirit, generically slotting into that category of family drama that too often comprises mawkish tele-movies - thankfully, though, this has all the requisite angst and none of the tawdry melodrama." - Hannah Patterson (Contemporary North American Film Directors, 2002)
"At a time when emerging West Coast auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson and Spike Jonze are making their names as flashy stylists, lifelong Manhattanite Lonergan is working in a subtler idiom. If these other writer-directors are the class show-offs, Lonergan is the sensitive loner in the back row, scribbling in his notebook. His painstaking, hyper-verbal style -- a fitful dialogue of incoherent moments, awkward pauses, and embarrassing mistakes -- has everything to do with his New York background. So do his neuroses." - Logan Hill (New York Magazine)
"Experiencing a film by Kenneth Lonergan is like nothing else; for one thing, because his films are an experience, rather than just pleasant diversions or even particularly moving stories. Of course, Lonergan's films do have story (plenty, thank you) and they are often pleasant, and not without laughs (the guy was a writer on Analyze This [1999]), but their structure feels less like an Aristotelian narrative dome holding your gaze than a mess of fine-grade sand working its way into your skin. They groove into you in lasting, painful, and maybe even therapeutic ways." - Tavi Gevinson (Interview Magazine, 2016)
"Some may say that Kenneth Lonergan is carrying on the tradition of such directors as John Cassavetes with his affection for small, character-driven dramas. With a successful career as a playwright preceding his turn as a screenwriter and director, Lonergan seems to have come from the perfect background in creating sympathetic characters in universal, recognizable situations, a key component in what he terms the "salvation of the ordinary." - Jason Buchanan (Allmovie)
"Kenneth Lonergan started writing early on; initially plays and later scripts such as the one for the successful comedy Analyze This (1999). His screenplay for Gangs of New York (2002) earned him his second Oscar nomination after having received his first for the script of his directorial debut, the multiple award-winning You Can Count on Me. Afterward, all doors seemed to be wide open to him. Even so, the very next project, Margaret, was blocked for years due to raging disputes about the final cut. Yet the director didn’t lose heart. His subsequent film, Manchester by the Sea, turned out to be an undisputed triumph. Kenneth Lonergan’s slender, powerful work is characterized by a wealth of nuances, realism and the refusal of simplifying depictions or solutions. His stories and the simultaneously sober and empathetic way in which they are staged, represent a stroke of luck for contemporary cinema." - Vienna International Film Festival (2017)
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Recommended
Margaret (2011) , You Can Count on Me (2000)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Manchester by the Sea
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