"Manchester by the Sea" argues that grief isn't something you get over, but rather something you learn to live with. And it is a lesson that broken men like Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) struggle to master -- and that's okay.

Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan's Oscar contender -- it's all but a lock for a Best Picture nom -- centers on Lee's attempts to re-enter his old life after his brother suddenly dies and leaves Lee to care for his surviving son, Patrick, played by Lucas Hedges. Along the way, Lee is forced to reconnect with his estranged wife, Randi (Michelle Williams) and relive the tragedy that both tore them apart and prevents them from ever reconciling.

Moviefone recently sat down with all three stars where they revealed the challenges of telling this story that is as real and raw as it gets.

"Manchester by the Sea" opens in select theaters Nov. 18.