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Kenneth Lonergan (born October 16, 1962) is an American film director, playwright, and screenwriter. He is the co-writer of the film Gangs of New York (2002), and wrote and directed You Can Count On Me (2000), Margaret (2011), and Manchester by the Sea (2016).

Kenneth Lonergan
Lonergan at the Vienna International Film Festival in 2016.
Lonergan at the Vienna International Film Festival in 2016.
Born (1962-10-16) October 16, 1962 (age 56)
New York City, U.S.
OccupationFilm director, playwright, screenwriter
Alma materNew York University
Wesleyan University
Period1982–present
Notable worksThe Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
You Can Count On Me
Gangs of New York
Margaret
Manchester by the Sea
Notable awardsAcademy Award (2016)
BAFTA Award (2016)
NBR Award (2016)
NSFC Award (2000, 2016)
NYFCC Award (2000, 2016)
Satellite Award (2016)
Spouse
J. Smith-Cameron (m. 2000)
Children1

Lonergan is also known for his work as a playwright. His most famous plays include This Is Our Youth, Lobby Hero and The Waverly Gallery. Each also had a successful revival engagement on Broadway, which resulted in each play receiving a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play

Lonergan earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Director for Manchester by the Sea, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for You Can Count On Me, Gangs of New York, and Manchester by the Sea, winning for the latter at the 89th Academy Awards. He also won the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay for Manchester by the Sea at the 70th British Academy Film Awards.

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Lonergan was born in The Bronx, New York City to a psychiatrist mother and physician father. His mother is Jewish, and his father was Irish.[1][2][3][4]

Lonergan began writing in high school at the Walden School, a now defunct, highly progressive private school in Manhattan with a strong drama program.[5]

His first play, The Rennings Children, was chosen for the Stephen Sondheim-founded Young Playwrights, Inc. Young Playwright's Festival in 1982 while he was still an undergraduate. Lonergan matriculated to Wesleyan University, where he trained as a playwright and director.[6] He graduated from the NYU Playwriting Program. He is an alumnus of HB Studio[7] in New York City.

Government and commercial workEdit

After graduating from NYU, Lonergan worked as a speechwriter for the Environmental Protection Agency. He also wrote industrial shows: long-play commercials, for clients such as Weight Watchers.[8]

CareerEdit

StageEdit

Lonergan's first theatrical success came with the play This Is Our Youth (1996); it was followed by The Waverly Gallery (1999), based on his grandmother's Greenwich Village gallery, and later Lobby Hero (2002). His play The Starry Messenger premiered Off-Broadway in 2009 and starred his wife J. Smith-Cameron and Matthew Broderick.[9]

In August 2014, This Is Our Youth was revived on Broadway starring Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, and Tavi Gevinson at the Cort Theatre. The play received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

In March 2018, Lobby Hero was revived on Broadway starring Chris Evans, Michael Cera, Brian Tyree Henry, and Bel Powley at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The play received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Cera and Tyree Henry were also nominated for their performances.

In September 2018, The Waverly Gallery was revived on Broadway starring Elaine May, Lucas Hedges, Joan Allen, David Cromer, and Michael Cera at the John Golden Theatre. The show received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Elaine May won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

FilmEdit

Lonergan's film career began with his screenplay for the gangland comedy Analyze This (1999). He was subsequently offered a job writing The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000).

Lonergan directed his own screenplay for You Can Count On Me (2000); the film, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, went on to receive and be nominated for numerous writing awards.[10] He contributed to the screenplay for Gangs of New York (2002). In 2005, filming took place for his second film as writer/director, Margaret, starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, and J. Smith-Cameron. The film spent over five years in post-production, with Lonergan, the producers and various editors unable to agree on its final cut, resulting in multiple legal disputes. It was finally released in 2011.[1] Margaret ranked 31st in a 2016 BBC poll of the 21st century's greatest films.[11]

Lonergan wrote and directed Manchester by the Sea, which was released in 2016 to critical acclaim.[12] He also had a small part in the film, as a pedestrian. David Fear of Rolling Stone said the film proves that Lonergan is "practically peerless in portraying loss as a living, breathing thing without resorting to the vocabulary of griefporn."[13]

Lonergan also wrote the BBC/Starz miniseries Howards End.[14]

ReceptionEdit

Justin Chang of Variety noted that Lonergan is "always a superb director of actresses," particularly in Manchester by the Sea where the director "gives the women in his ensemble their due."[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Lonergan is married to actress J. Smith-Cameron. They have one daughter, Nellie.[16][17]

CreditsEdit

StageEdit

Year Title Notes
1982 The Rennings Children One-act
1993 Betrayed by Everyone One-act; would become This is Our Youth
1996 This Is Our Youth
2000 The Waverly Gallery
2001 Lobby Hero
2004 True to You One-act premiered at TriBeCa Theater Festival
2009 The Starry Messenger
2012 Medieval Play
2016 Hold On to Me Darling

FilmEdit

Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer
1999 Analyze This No Yes
2000 You Can Count On Me Yes Yes Co-starring role as Father Ron;
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated- Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle No Yes
2002 Gangs of New York No Yes Nominated- Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
2011 Margaret Yes Yes
2016 Manchester by the Sea Yes Yes Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Director
Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated- Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Nominated- Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer
1994 Doug No Yes Episode: "Doug Throws a Party"
2017 Howards End No Yes Miniseries

Awards and nominationsEdit

StageEdit

Year Title Award and Category Result
1996 This Is Our Youth Drama Desk Award for Best Play Nominated
2000 The Waverly Gallery Pulitzer Prize for Drama Nominated
2001 Lobby Hero Drama Desk Award for Best Play Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play Nominated
John Gassner Playwriting Award Nominated
Olivier Award for Best Play Nominated

FilmsEdit

Year Film Award and Category Result
2000 You Can Count On Me AFI Award for Best New Writer Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Filmmaker Won
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Russell Smith Award Won
Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature Won
Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Won
National Board of Review Special Achievement Award Won
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay Won
Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay Won
Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Drama Won
Sundance Film Festival Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award Won
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Won
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay Won
Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
2002 Gangs of New York Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2011 Margaret Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Award for Screenwriter of the Year Nominated
2016 Manchester by the Sea Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay Won
BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay Won
National Board of Review Award for Best Original Screenplay Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay Won
Satellite Award for Best Director Won
Academy Award for Best Director Nominated
Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Director Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Gotham Awards for Best Screenplay Nominated
Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Director Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Brody, Richard (March 15, 2012). "Kenneth Lonergan". The New Yorker.
  2. ^ Mead, Rebecca (November 7, 2016). "The Cinematic Traumas of Kenneth Lonergan". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Kra-Oz, Tal (December 3, 2014). "'This Is Our Youth' Portrays the 'Pathetic Remnants of Upper West Side Jewish Liberalism'". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  4. ^ "'Manchester By The Sea' Director Probes The Drama And Humor Of Grief". NPR. November 30, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  5. ^ "Walden School at 73 Files for Bankruptcy" The New York Times, June 23, 1987
  6. ^ James Fisher (June 1, 2011). Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater, 1930–2010. ISBN 9780810879508.
  7. ^ HB Studio Alumni
  8. ^ Stephen Farber, "A Playwright in Pottsylvania," The Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2000.
  9. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. Cameron, Culkin, Hadary and More Will Join Cast of Starry Messenger' "[permanent dead link] playbill.com (webcache.googleusercontent.com), September 18, 2009
  10. ^ "Kenneth Lonergan Awards" The New York Times
  11. ^ "The 21st Century's 100 greatest films". BBC. August 23, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Lewis, Andy (November 24, 2016). "How Matt Damon's Almost-Directorial Debut 'Manchester by the Sea' Became Another Helmer's Comeback". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Fear, David (February 1, 2016). "How 'Manchester by the Sea' Became a Sundance 2016 Hit". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 15, 2017). "Starz Boards 'Howards End' BBC Limited Series; Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen & Tracey Ullman To Star". Deadline. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  15. ^ Chang, Justin (January 24, 2016). "Sundance Film Review: 'Manchester by the Sea'". Archived from the original on October 15, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ Vellela, Tony (October 5, 2001). "J. Smith-Cameron's role-changing, name-changing career". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "What's Up, J. Smith-Cameron? The Starry Star on Life, Art and Why She Loves Ben Brantley". Broadway.com. Retrieved December 10, 2016.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit