Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Neglected Movies: Margaret

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.

6 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Oh, I want to see this! It's good to hear that it's been released on DVD. I like Anna Paquin's acting...

Paul D Brazill said...

I've never heard of that. I'll give it a gander.

Todd Mason said...

One would think it would get at least an arthouse release on strength of cast if nothing else.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

New one on me too - seems amazing that with such a cast it would fall between the gaps. I'll look to see if it's out in UK, thanks Patti.

Todd Mason said...

What WIKIPEDIA has on availability:

An extended cut of the film was released on DVD in July 2012 in both the UK and the US.[10][5] The US release also includes a Blu-ray of the film featuring the theatrical cut in high definition. The Canadian release uses identical packagaing and claims to include both cuts but, in actuality, includes only the theatrical cut twice.

Charles Gramlich said...

Don't think I've heard of it.