Newswire: Here’s how Matt Damon got final cut on indie darling Manchester By The Sea

Kenneth Lonergan’s third film, Manchester By The Sea, was the smash success of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, with critics heaping it with near-universal praise for its tale of emotionally guarded New England men. (Per our own A.A. Dowd: “So overwhelmingly powerful that I spent most of yesterday afternoon’s world premiere screening either holding back tears or releasing them.”) But Lonergan—a New York playwright who broke into films with 2000’s sibling drama You Can Count On Me—didn’t have final cut—i.e., the final decision on what ultimately ends up in theaters—on his own movie. Instead, that decision fell to producer Matt Damon.

That might seem odd, given that Damon’s never directed a film, and also isn’t actually in the movie. (He was supposed to be, but scheduling conflicts forced him to abdicate in favor of Casey Affleck.) The …

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