Margaret

"Excellent"

Margaret Review


Shot in 2005, Lonergan's film spent six years in legal and editorial limbo. It may be overlong, but it's a powerfully involving exploration of guilt and self-discovery. It's also packed with astonishingly complex characters and situations.

Lisa (Paquin) is a Manhattan teen living with her single mother Joan (Smith-Cameron), an actress starring in her breakout stage role while seeing a new man (Reno). One day Lisa distracts a bus driver (Ruffalo), who hits a woman (Janney) in the street, an accident that sends Lisa into a spiral of sublimated guilt, as she lashes out in different ways at a nice classmate (Gallagher), her teachers (Damon and Broderick) and mostly her mother. And she doesn't stop there, meddling in people's lives in her effort to achieve a sense of justice.

Lisa's real problem is that she hasn't yet developed an adult sense of isolation and interdependence. So this is actually an intricate coming-of-age movie, even though it doesn't feel like one. We watch in horrified recognition as we see ourselves in every character, even as each one goes through moments in which they are hugely unlikeable, reacting badly and/or doing things that are intensely selfish.

Clearly cut down from a much longer version, subplots come and go suddenly, leaving a lot to the imagination. But this askance structure works in the film's favour, as does the lengthly running time, which lets us get lost in each situation as well as the overarching themes. We never have a clue what anyone is going to say or do next, scenes turn suddenly in unexpected directions, and even Lonergan's flashy camera moves add to the dizzying effect.

Indeed, the title refers to a 19th century poem.

The entire cast is excellent. This is perhaps Paquin's strongest performance yet. She holds our attention - and affection - even after Lisa has lost our sympathy. Smith-Cameron is terrific as a woman desperate to understand her daughter, realising perhaps too late that both of them are being equally narrow-minded. And Berlin has the other notable role as a woman pulled into Lisa's plan before revealing her own limits. This is a rich, moving, deeply provocative film that doesn't deserve to be remembered for its production troubles. Let it speak for itself.



Margaret

Facts and Figures

Run time: 150 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st June 2012

Box Office USA: $46.5k

Budget: $14M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight

Production compaines: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Gilbert Films, Scott Rudin Productions, Mirage Enterprises

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 68 Rotten: 23

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Lisa Cohen, as Mr. Aaron, as Jason Berstone, as Andrew Van Tassel, as Emily, as Ramon, as Paul, as Monica, as Darren, as Mrs. Marretti, J. Smith-Cameron as Joan, as Becky, as Shopgirl, as Wounded Woman, as Victor, as Karl

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.