Margaret - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Margaret Reviews

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September 21, 2017
I thought 'Manchester by the Sea' was a powerful film that really engrossed you in the characters and their story. This, Lonergan's earlier effort is just a mess though I'm sorry. What's it about? It scatterguns across topics and the millions of different characters without ever really examining any of the stories properly. The central character is just annoying. Going for a privileged, bratty white girl and trying to make you feel sorry for her annoying woes is really a difficult card to play. Ridiculously drawn out as well.
½ June 25, 2017
The first part of the movie is okay. The second one is chaotic. All the movie is around an adolescent so arrogant, confused and cold that blows your mind.
March 20, 2017
Extremely well acted, written, and directed, Margaret wastes none of it's three hour run time in telling a tragic, and beautiful story. Also has one of the finest last scenes I have ever seen. If you liked Manchester by the Sea you should see Margaret as well.
March 9, 2017
This was amazing. Epic on a real world way.
½ February 20, 2017
One of the best Ana PAquin performances of all times.
February 19, 2017
Watched the extended cut. Shame that, ironically, legal woes meant it didn't get a wider release as it's an incredible piece of work
February 1, 2017
It really does show that it was an unfinished product, especially in the final 20 minutes, but the way it seamlessly complements the thematic base for the film with the formal approach is truly an accomplishment. Each characterization feels genuine, and the elliptical nature of its narrative lets it be more of an experience you feel than one you are told about.
February 1, 2017
I think I never was bored like this in my entire life :/
½ December 22, 2016
Lonergan is clearly talented and this film is good but it's greatness was probably lost in the edit. Also, the climax was a bit lazy. Great message, acting, and story. Why on earth do you need to like the protagonist for a film to be good? Some of the reviewers on here kill me.
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2016
It took so many years and two lawsuits to have this film edited and released, but the final result is this bloated and self-important mess of ideas that Lonergan was incapable of putting together cohesively, and it is even worse that the protagonist is so detestable.
½ December 17, 2016
What? Could I have my 3.99 back for renting this?
December 7, 2016
While Kenneth Lonergan has entered the cinematic lexicon again with this year's awards favorite Manchester by the Sea, it's beyond understandable to now go back and watch his previous film and feel that it's one of the most overlooked masterpieces in recent memory. Delayed release for years due to its lengthy editing period (and the legal battles it spawned), Margaret's running time clocks in at just over three hours, but it achieves that impossible cinematic goal of being both grandiose as a whole, while also considering nuance and humanity in every single shot. Scene-after-scene Margaret is a simply unforgettable experience, with Lonergan aptly balancing the harrowing parts with desirable spurts of sly humor, and the multitude of storylines come together in a way that satisfies viewers without spoon-feeding them. An ensemble piece too (featuring more than a few actors that have since become A-listers), Margaret displays some truly profound performances, and it isn't exactly likely that star Anna Paquin will ever have another role that's as revelatory towards her range. More thematically rich and sublime than any other American coming-of-age movie you're likely to see, Margaret is one of this past decade's most brilliant hidden gems.
November 13, 2016

Around 100 minutes into Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" there is a long, slow pan across some of New York City's landscape which is followed by an unbroken shot of Lisa (played by Anna Paquin) walking through its indifferent crowds. The two shots run for several minutes and invite reflection as they breathe, complementing and solidifying the tone set in the opening of the film in which people move through the city in motion, set to Nico Muhly's evocative score.

There is an ache for connection and understanding at the heart of Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" which Anna Paquin brings to the screen with a vulnerability and depth not even hinted at during her 25 season slum as Sookie Stackhouse in "True Blood". Her incredible performance brings to mind Gena Rowlands when she worked with John Cassavetes. "Margaret" is not Cinéma vérité by any means - it is positively filmic. Yet, like a Cassavetes film, it invites the audience to participate in the life of its characters by showing them doing and talking about things in scene after scene which are not necessarily integral to its central or overarching narrative. These scenes serve to build a multidimensional portrait of its characters which, again, are allowed the space to breathe and develop.

There is music in the film but not everywhere, and when it's present it serves a purpose and creates a synergy with the cinematography which is rarely experienced in modern cinema.

It is unclear to this reviewer why this film, shot in 2005, was not released until 2011. Seen in its original theatrically released form (150 minutes), "Margaret" is an overwhelming experience, a film filled with beautiful, quiet moments and a near-magnificent character study. Smaller character parts as played Matt Damon, Jean Reno, Allison Janney and Mark Ruffalo are reminders of these actors talents as they fill their respective parts with nuance and complexity despite minimal screen time.

Reportedly, the director's preferred cut is three hours long. I haven't seen it, but I can say right here that the 150 minute cut is just incredible and works as a complete narrative, an exploration of the human condition and a character study in and of itself.
October 5, 2016
An incredible hidden gem with beautiful cinematography and music and great performances!
September 21, 2016
Original and raw. A list cast led by talented Paquin. Unique life of teenage girl, yet oddly familiar.
September 20, 2016
This story, completed in 2003, is an insightful reaction to 9/11/2001. A teenage character is a perfect vehicle to help explain why 3000 innocent people died that day. None of the characters in this story are able to listen to each other with empathy. Instead, they strike out in defensive anger. It is perfectly appropriate that the public cannot take an extra half hour to listen to the author's full story. This is a very important work in what it says about us all.
August 19, 2016
A highly effective, deeply textured little masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
May 25, 2016
A self-obsessed teenager of New York style privilege endeavors to correct a wrong done to an innocent, and that's just the introductory tip of the iceberg in this dense examination of modern day humanity. My first reaction was intense dislike of the main character, and thus the film(even after I realized she was meant as an example of us all), but I couldn't tear my eyes away. After we accept that we are flawed, then what? The work manages to be engaging even while wrestling with the answers. Bring your thinking cap!
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2016
A messy, fascinating and intimate epic. The accident that sets everything in motion is really just an excuse for Lonergan to view grief through the eyes of a teenager, who doesn't have the maturity to handle whats happening. Maybe it's "unfinished" or whatever but I don't really care.
February 6, 2016
Perfect. The perfect goddamn movie. Watch the 3 hour extended cut though. One of the best movies I've ever seen.
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