Margaret Reviews

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½ September 29, 2015
An underrated little masterpiece. Anna Paquin gives it her best in a tortured role.
½ September 13, 2015
interesting film drama.

this picture of dramatic provocateur kept me viewing whereas another film of it's typecast i would not have endured. the genre product is simple enough to 'usually' fall asleep to though the performances enlightened another dimension, gave depth to plot as it traversed a bumpy character based loop de loop revolving this girls troubled time in life or grasping the individualistic nature of it.

*spoiler alert** to not bestow one opinionated issues upon everyone else mayhaps be that nature of bond. yet is it a spoiler at all
September 4, 2015
What a vast jumble!
And, why Anna Paquin always picks nasty roles like this?
Or, why does she always deliver her characters in such nuisance way??
½ August 30, 2015
One of the longest movies ever made about the biggest spoiled brat ever born.
Super Reviewer
June 17, 2015
Hard-hitting and emotionally haranguing, this absorbing, perceptive drama provides plenty of deep thought with a real understanding of the differences between the teenage and adult worlds. Margaret isn't the name of anyone in the movie, it's a character in a poem who laments for her younger self's ability to care about the world in a more urgent manner. Margaret's attitude is reflected in one of the movie's major themes as high schooler Lisa (Anna Paquin) feels responsible for a bus accident that killed a pedestrian. Furthermore, she believes the bus driver is at least equally culpable and who does not demonstrate remorse to her satisfaction, so she takes it upon herself to force him to accept responsibility.

I could write a term paper about this movie, and at nearly 3 hours there is plenty of material. With the many hysterical outbursts it's probably a difficult film for a lot of people to enjoy but I was rapt in the characters and story. Credit goes to an outstanding cast - I was only interested in the first place because of Paquin, and she in mostly commanding in a thoroughly draining role - and exceptional writing with an ear for dialogue that captures how people really talk and think. Another theme is perception, and how different viewpoints can come to opposite conclusions with the same information, whether due to generational or cultural or any number of other gaps. New York is also given time to inhabit the screen and leave an indelible mark as a character, although I could have done with fewer camera pans of buildings.

The law takes an important part in the story and the movie examines the complicated issues the way great lawsuit movies like 'Erin Brockovich' do, on a ground level during conversations over coffee that everyone can understand instead of during boring courtroom speeches. The complications are fascinatingly distasteful. For instance, if the woman had survived for several days before dying, that would have increased the call for damages significantly. On the other hand, she was consciously clinging to life for several minutes, which calls for a greater monetary reward than someone killed outright.

The bulk of the time is spent with Lisa trying to come to terms with what she thinks she's done. She drifts away from her best friends at school and mother, a concerned but neurotic and neglectful stage actress, and spends more time with her math teacher and the victim's best friend. Her cement mixer of emotions also leads her to her first sexual experience in a starkly tender scene of nervousness and anticipation. That was unexpected, which is a big part of what I admired about this film: it continuously strives to find unconventional footing in scene setups that are very familiar and yet the outcomes are very organic. Not everything works, particularly the direction she takes with her math teacher played by Matt Damon didn't jibe. As she experiences this rapid growth cycle, she eventually finds her way back to her innate connection with her mother.

"In this country, this is how we punish people who have done bad things."
"By getting money from from their employer's insurance companies??"
½ June 4, 2015
I saw the longer version.. 186 mins, but it mostly flowed.... very good cast, but I felt like some of the the lead characters' personal things that were going on in her life, were unnecessary to add to the film...
½ May 18, 2015
a vanity project that tries but fails to make any salient point about its subject, through many digressions and other asides, the same observation is hammered home incessantly, overedited and overcooked as a film fiasco can possibly be
May 2, 2015
Lengthy indeed, and not short with emotion by any means, "Margaret" presents a tragic story surrounding a heartbreaking event that intercepts young 17-year-old Margaret's life and shakes her to the core. Anna Paquin shines with her painful delivery that feels all too real, and Kenneth Lonergan directs with ease. A difficult film, but a necessary one.
April 21, 2015
It felt like a collection of randomly shot scenes, meant for a variety of different films, that went on too long. The characters are over exaggerated, and sometimes plain unbelievable (mother's boyfriend). If the aim was to portray a modern hyper intelligent teenager, who has no idea what to do with it -- then the film could be considered a success.
½ March 17, 2015
We also feels certain she played a determinant role in a deadly accident. She also was brave enough to hold the victim on her lap during her last 5 minutes of life. That is the kind of event causing the famous PTSD. She seems to take it excessively well but it obsess her. She seems to try several approaches to resolve her emotions. With top guilt already, she can try other guilt-trips with others that seems not to feel any of it. It is a way to measure her own against others. Even though she feels upset and frustrated, there is no doubt that her efforts are fruitful. I watched it on dvd over three days because it was long (3 hours). Being an american film, I was expecting the worse in the end. I liked the ending with a definite french flavor. I would even call this a franco-american film. Good acting, we feel the moments as if true. Many awkwards moments made me remember my adolescence.
½ February 28, 2015
A potentially interesting character study and complex plot is damaged by a film that is 50% too long and 50% too melodramatic. With more restraint, this could have been a very good film--in this case it's frustrating and average.
½ January 24, 2015
can i give it ZERO stars?
what a pretentious, pointless waste of time. i want that 3 hours of my life back!
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2015
Margaret is an excellent film. The director has tackled a gritty and challenging subject with an exquisite eye to detail. The performances by Anna Paquin and J. Smith-Cameron are superb. There are some flaws such as minor story lines that seem to have no purpose or simply vanish, but those flaws are not enough to detract from the impact of the drama. For those who are not willing to wallow in the drama and who don't relish fine performances, Margaret will undoubtedly seem slow and uninteresting. However, for those who are willing and do so relish (I watched the extended edition at more than 3 hrs.), this is an excellent film despite its minor flaws.
July 31, 2012
A great movie. Grand, operatic, almost shakespearean, as well as incredibly intimate and brutally honest.
Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2014
Director/writer Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me) filmed Margaret in 2005, and it needed six years to have it in the cinemas... I can see why! Whatever way you try to put it together, and, believe me, numerous editors have been recruited to try their luck in shaping it up, this ends up as a pretentious drama which is almost pointless! I cannot believe that a film with Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Jean Reno, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Broderick and Allison Janney could be without a role to be remembered. This must be one of the rare movies which can bring so many stars together and all of them were underutilized!

Having Anna Paquin in my face for two-and-half-hours trying to act in this tragic growing-up melodrama surrounding made my life miserable for the moment... the story of Lisa Cohen started really well, but very soon this privileged teen living in New York City who experiences a loss of innocence, both literally and figuratively, after witnessing a bus running over a woman, became a real mess.

If you are interested in seeing some bad and loud acting from Paquin without real expression of emotions, a story which is mostly obnoxious and solutions flighty, and talented but underutilized supporting cast, go and waste 2.5 hours on it.
½ October 3, 2014
I liked many things about this movie. Its a movie about relationship among other things. The movie has many things.... Great job again by Lonergan. Made in 2005 by released in 2011. a saga just to get it made.... Glad I finally remembered to see it.
September 29, 2014
If you have a cowboy hat my guess is you will leave it at home for a few days.
August 30, 2012
Its like an exceptionally good screenplay that was written by a 15 year old. All forced hysteria and only HOT and COLD instead of the whole spectrum.
September 13, 2014
Self indulgent and wasteful of numerous great actors who all seem to have been booked for cameo roles. Overall all the charactors are horrible! even the dieing woman is horrible. Anna Paquin does well buy yhte plot is baffling and it is hard to watch a film in which you dont care about anyone in it or give a monkies about the outcome...Fizzer.
½ August 28, 2014
Though plodding, overstuffed and ultimately quite messy, this slice-of-life drama covers an often underdeveloped premise in cinema without compromise. Held together finitely by Anna Paquin, Margaret is at once riveting and absorbing, yet uncomplicated and monotone.
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