Give Kenneth Lonergan an Award for Surviving the Hell That Is Awards Season

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The Build Series Presents The Cast Of "Manchester By The Sea"
(L-R): Actor Lucas Hedges, director Kenneth Lonergan, and actor Casey Affleck at the AOL Build Series to discuss Manchester by the Sea. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Like Casey Affleck’s character in Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan is trying, but he definitely does not want to be here right now. Lonergan, who wrote and directed Manchester but is primarily known as a playwright, has had to suffer through the months-long cavalcade of indignities that constitutes awards season. By now, he is very. Very. Exhausted. Kenneth Lonergan is proud of his movie. Kenneth Lonergan is trying really hard to be genial. Kenneth Lonergan is all of us if we were forced to take part in the never-ending circus of celebrity culture. Kenneth Lonergan would like to go now, please.

Our journey begins in Sundance, where Manchester by the Sea first premiered to widely positive reviews. Here, Lonergan brings along his cast, his daughter, his wife J. Smith-Cameron, and Matt Damon, who just seems like a calming presence.

He also gets to wear a nice parka. Things aren’t looking too bad.

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: (L-R) Actor Lucas Hedges, Writer/Director Kenneth Lonergan and Actor Casey Affleck are seen around town at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/GC Images) Photo: Mark Sagliocco/GC Images

At Sundance, Amazon picks up Manchester by the Sea with a $10 million deal. Great news! But for Lonergan himself, the next few months proceed as normal.

In September, Manchester heads to Telluride. Lonergan poses with Emma Stone.

TELLURIDE, CO - SEPTEMBER 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actress Emma Stone and director Kenneth Lonergan attend the Telluride Film Festival 2016 on September 3, 2016 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images) Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

He gets to answer questions with Casey Affleck outside. It is tiring, but okay.

TELLURIDE, CO - SEPTEMBER 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Director Kenneth Lonergan and actor Casey Affleck speak during a seminar in Elks Park during the Telluride Film Festival 2016 on September 3, 2016 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images) Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

On to the Toronto Film Festival. Damon appears once again for moral support.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Actor Casey Affleck, writer/producer Kenneth Lonergan and producer Matt Damon attend the “Manchester by the Sea” premiere during the 2016 Toronto International Film Festivalat at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 13, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Michelle Williams is very happy. That helps.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Actor Casey Affleck, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan, actors Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler and producer Matt Damon attend the “Manchester by the Sea” premiere during the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 13, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

In October, Lonergan travels to the New York Film Festival with his wife and daughter. He is tired, but bravely carries on.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 01: (L-R) Nellie Lonergan, director/writer Kenneth Lonergan and actress J. Smith-Cameron attend the 54th New York Film Festival - ‘Manchester by the Sea’ World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on October 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic) Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Manchester by the Sea premieres in London on October 8.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Actors Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and director Kenneth Lonergan attend the ‘Manchester By The Sea’ International Premiere screening during the 60th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI) Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI

Then it goes to Rome, where Lonergan finally gets to sit in a chair.

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 14: Director Kenneth Lonergan attends a photocall for ‘Manchester By The Sea’ during the 11th Rome Film Festival at Auditorium Parco Della Musica on October 14, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images) Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

In November, the film also premieres in Los Angeles. (“Why’d we have to do two premieres?” “Just show up, Kenny.”)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Actor Lucas Hedges, actress Michelle Williams, director Kenneth Lonergan, actors Casey Affleck and Matthew Broderick attend the premiere of Amazon Studios’ “Manchester By The Sea” at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Swisher Productions) Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Swisher Product

The Manchester by the Sea team goes to something called the “AOL Build Series.” Nobody quite knows what’s going on.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Actor Lucas Hedges, director Kenneth Lonergan and actor Casey Affleck attend AOL Build Series to discuss their new film “Manchester By The Sea” at AOL HQ on November 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images) Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Lonergan has to do a bunch of interviews.

So.

Many.

Interviews.

This one is an hour long!

Manchester by the Sea wins Best Screenplay at the Critics Choice Awards. Kenneth Lonergan smiles, trying to figure out who exactly these critics are.

SANTA MONICA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan, winner of Best Original Screenplay for ‘Manchester by the Sea’, poses in the press room during The 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

At the Golden Globes, Lonergan bravely turns the surveillance apparatus against the press.

SANTA MONICA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan, winner of Best Original Screenplay for ‘Manchester by the Sea’, poses in the press room during The 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) Photo: Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Casey Affleck scores a big win at the Golden Globes, and then gives a very Casey Affleck speech.

And Lonergan is in the audience, watching, cringing, fighting, holding on.

The Oscars take place on Sunday, February 26. As Kenneth Lonergan surely repeats to himself under his breath every morning, there are only six weeks left to go. He can make it. He can make it.

Kenneth Lonergan Is an Awards-Season Hero