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.
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.
It showed the reality of human thoughts, behaviors which shows a good lesson to learn
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.
positives: well acted, no cookie cutter characters, makes you think...
negatives: one major editing hiccup....
overall impression: surprisingly good and highly recommended......