• R, 2 hr. 29 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Kenneth Lonergan
    In Theaters:
    Sep 30, 2011 Limited
    On DVD:
    Jul 10, 2012
  • Fox Searchlight

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Margaret Reviews

Page 2 of 25
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.
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.
August 11, 2014
Not bad. A bit of a grandstanding performance from Anna Paquin, a bit illogical in parts - but powerful stuff. Overlong at two and a half hours, and the plot waves around too many subplots. Interesting to see Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Jean Reno play smallish supporting roles. It's worth looking up the poem Margaret by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which features briefly in the film but contains the kernel of its message. J. Smith-Cameron as Lisa's mother actually has a major role which she performs beautifully, but she doesn't get much mention in the credits. I wonder why? Lots of interesting observation here about modern America and its attitudes to the Middle East, Israel, Syria, the Jews and all that jazz.
February 7, 2013
This film surely rewards repeat viewings, for it is one of the most raw, textured works of precise character study and operatic drama I've ever seen, a jagged yet profound construction whose messiness adds thematic and exhilarating momentum to what is a searching and uncommonly honest exploration and depiction of the complexities and difficulties of communication and shared experience. Lonargan's writing and amazing performances by his cast combine for the creation of some of the most fully realized and realistic characters in all of cinema, who guide the viewer through expertly distilled and internalized ideas of guilt, grief, adolescence, and the minutiae of human behavior. It may also be the most potent post 9/11 film yet made, dealing both pointedly and atmospherically with the uncertainty, anger, and trauma that event provoked
July 17, 2014
Writer and director, Kenneth Lonergan brings a struggled film to be extremely devastating, yet vivid. It stars Anna Paquin (as Lisa Cohen), J. Smith-Cameron (as Joan Cohen), Jean Reno (as Ramon), Jeannie Berlin (as Emily), Allison Janney (as Monica Patterson), Matthew Broderick (as John), Mark Ruffalo (as Maretti), and Matt Damon (as Mr. Aaron). In Lonergan's second film for directing and seventh film for writing, he planned to have "Margaret" released in 2007. That goal was not complete because Lonergan spent an extra four years fighting with Fox Searchlight Pictures since the film had a short-cut and a long-cut and that resulted in several lawsuits.

The film is about a girl named Lisa Cohen, she is a seventeen-year-old high school student that feels she played a role in a bus accident. The bus driver is Maretti, and the lady that was hit is Monica Patterson. This accident leaves Lisa to be in horrid frustration; she emotionally argues with her mother Joan and Joan's boyfriend, Ramon; she tries to impress her two teachers John and Mr. Aaron; and above all she is hard on herself. When a lady named Emily helps to try and solver her case, it leads Lisa with a basic truth: that her youthful ideas are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world.

"Margaret" is not a feel-good movie, but it is one of the most important films around. In today's society, depressing events happen all the time and sometimes people do not admit that they are responsible for something horrible. Paquin's acting and characterization of this dramatic accident makes me feel that telling the truth is always the right choice.

With numerous production conflicts, Lonergan did not give up with "Margaret." Lonergan delivered a one hundred and fifty minute version, but the original one he wanted was close to three hours. Director Martin Scorsese and Editor Thelma Schoonmaker were chose to put the film in order. Their task was not finished, since the funds ran out. What was good though, was that Fox Searchlight released the one hundred and fifty minute draft (limited). The film began to receive many positive reviews and made Top 10 Films of the Year lists.

"Margaret" will make you cry. I cried watching both versions, which were the theatrical and extended cut. I can even remember the sad moments and can think to myself how the emotions of Lisa compares to others that struggles with emotions. Will Lisa ever be relieved? Will the teachers forgive Lisa for her bizarre behavior? Or why was this this film not a landmark masterpiece? And why did I not see it on the big screen? The questions will be waiting for anyone who has not seen "Margaret." Three stars.

Note: No one is named "Margaret," it is a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins and is mentioned at some point in the film.
June 29, 2014
A very long movie that illustrated the story and changes of a girl and her actions along a traumatic accident.
It showed the reality of human thoughts, behaviors which shows a good lesson to learn
September 5, 2011
there's a lot of drama in this film. it was all over the place. Lisa's character is messed up. anna paquin played her role very well. for me, the main plot did not revolve around the tragic bus accident but the relationship btwn Lisa and her mom. the ending was very touching.
June 8, 2014
a bit long but stellar performance by Anna Paquin makes this one worth seeing.
April 11, 2014
Emily (Jeannie Berlin): "Now I don't to tell anyone what to think or how to feel and I don't want to
kid myself about the stupid, way that she meaningless died because that would really make her throw up.But I don't want it to become the summation of her life because it's not. When her Lisa died...when her Lisa died, I said to her "How can you stand it?" and she said "First of all, I can't but I don't want to take away the twelve years she did have and turn them all into leukemia because they weren't." And so I do think it's important to remember, that despite the fact she got ripped off, she was the most fully developed person I personally have ever known."

The ensemble were brilliant and the story was pretty compelling enough to where I can sympathize with the protagonist; but on the same note, it was also pretty confusing, her actions seemed so random, self-destructive but altogether pointless. The best part of the film was when her motives truly become clear was when Lisa (played by Anna Paquin) gets outraged that Monica's estrange niece was willing to accept the monetary settlement despite the company's reluctance to let go of the driver who was partly responsible for Monica's death. That scene was so raw and so honest that it was very moving and you can finally understand all the emotional turmoil Lisa has been going through since the accident and the reason for her rebelliousness. Like I mentioned earlier, the cast did a superb job, but I can't help being distracted by Anna Paquin through no real fault of her own since she was very credible all throughout the film; but I can't help thinking she's too old to play a high school student even though she can still physically pass for one. It kind of hindered me from completely being immersed in the story, which I know was a pretty silly reason.
April 10, 2014
If the purpose of this film is to make you despise the main character and dream of having this time returned to your life this would be best picture of the year.
rthornhill
April 8, 2014
the trailer only begins to give a glimpse of what lies in store.
positives: well acted, no cookie cutter characters, makes you think...
negatives: one major editing hiccup....
overall impression: surprisingly good and highly recommended......
April 3, 2014
WTF was the point of this? 2 and a half hours of examples of emotional nut cases?
September 5, 2011
Started out with good potential with a decent cast and plot line, but fell apart and left the audience thinking "what was the point?"
March 19, 2014
I was really surprised to see the critics praise this movie. I thought it was a disappointment. The plot kept bending and twisting, and it eventually just started to make me laugh at what directions the movie was taking. Great cast, but it fell flat for me.
February 17, 2014
Watched the theatrical version. There's some really good stuff in this movie, but then it contains a few subplots that should have been removed. The conversions feel real due to their awkwardness. The reviews I've seen all mention how unsympathetic Lisa is. I actually did feel for her, seeing how of course she's incredibly selfish and narcissistic - she's a teenager. She seems to mean well, but doesn't know how to cope with her guilt, bringing her to a pathologically hysterical state. I think Lonergan's whole script is essentially cynical and showing pretty much everyone in the movie as being petty, selfish, and self absorbed, not just Lisa. The movie should have been no more than perhaps two hours, though (unless the 3 hour cut improves greatly on the neglected subplots).
February 1, 2014
These critics are crazy - this movie is overlong, poorly edited, and horribly acted. Given the choice, I would rather watch the QVC network for two and half hours rather than sit through this disaster again.
January 11, 2013
A very dramatic soap opera with good actors.
January 19, 2014
The best film so far of the 2010-2019 decade. Let's see how this holds up for the next six years.
January 11, 2014
Beautiful dialogue scenes and fascinating characters. Loved the photography of New York City as well. I cannot believe they pulled off the final scene with Renée Fleming on the Met stage (although I think a more traditional Italian opera, preferably something involving consumption :), would have fit the story better)!!
Page 2 of 25
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