Kenneth Lonergan, Director
Margaret was made five years ago by Kenneth Lonergan and never released for various reasons. This despite the success of his fabulous first film, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME. Now it is available on DVD. The lead role is played by TRUE BLOOD'S Anna Paquin.
MARGARET is an interesting, well-acted, and serious examination of the complexity of grief in a seventeen year old. I was knocked out by both Paquin and Jeannie Berlin's performances especially. Matt Damon and Mathew Broderick play flawed but well meaning high school teachers. I have been told there is an extended cut at three hours that fills in some odd gaps in the narrative. I will try to get that version.
When a girl plays an inadvertent role in a fatality, dealing with its complexity is more than she can handle in her fractured family life. Lisa is a nuanced character you will not always like. So too her mother, teachers, friends. No one is portrayed in black or white. Lonergan sets his story among the bustle of city life, not content to tell his story in a void.
It's long and sad, but on the whole, a movie well worth seeing if you can handle grief and ambiguity. And if you can get the three hour version, even better I am told. At the end, Lisa remains an enigma as all good teenage characters should.