25 June 2012

Review: Margaret (Movie)

The 2011 movie Margaret, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, is a character study of a high school student named Lisa (Anna Paquin) who distracts a New York City bus driver (Mark Ruffalo) who then hits and kills a woman as she crosses the street. The movie explores how an impulsive and innocent act can have traumatic, long-reaching effects.

Here is how the studio describes the film:

From Academy Award® nominated writer/director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me) comes a stirring drama Rolling Stone calls "a film of rare beauty and shocking gravity." Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo lead a celebrated cast in the story of a Manhattan teenager whose life is profoundly altered after witnessing a terrible accident. Experience an emotional teen's extraordinary journey to set things right as her innocent ideals come crashing against the harsh realities of the adult world. It's an "extraordinarily ambitious film," raves Time Magazine.
Although I liked the premise, Margaret wasn't a big hit for me. The acting was terrific, but either I simply didn't understand the story or I wasn't in the right mood. The plot moves slowly, and some of the characters' behavior didn't ring true to me. For example, at one point Lisa goes to the bus driver's house to confront him, and his wife unhesitatingly lets her in, even though she's never met the teen and knows nothing about her. I know I should have cared more about Lisa's struggle to come to terms with the accident, but I had trouble connecting with the film.

Take a look at the trailer and read some other reviews before deciding on this movie. You may well have better luck than I did.

Thanks to Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment for the review copy.


Sandy Nawrot 6/25/12, 6:40 AM  

I consider myself to be in touch with not only the blockbusters, but the little indie movies, and I've never heard of this one. Good actors, but slow character driven movies can be bad news in certain moods.

Kim-Medicine for the Soul 6/25/12, 7:22 AM  

Oh, wow. The trailer looks AMAZING! I am so sorry that it was just ok for you...it looks like a great cast so I may have to check it out!

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/25/12, 7:55 AM  

Oh that is unfortunate. I like Matt Damon and Mark Rufflalo's work, but I haven't read many good reviews of this movie.

Charlie 6/25/12, 3:39 PM  

I'm embarrased to say that as much as I liked Anna Paquin in X-Men I've yet to watch any other movie of hers. I very much like the sound of this, the plot and potential for subject discussion is good. Though you saying the plot moves slowly - I think I'd have to find more information because a slow plot with the story you present doesn't seem an idea.

bermudaonion 6/25/12, 3:43 PM  

I try to keep up with movies but I missed this one somehow. The storyline sounds like it had promise and there are lots of great actors in the movie - too bad it didn't all gel.

Julie P. 6/25/12, 7:30 PM  

I feel better that Sandy and Kathy had never heard of this one either. I'm not a huge Anna Paquin fan (despite loving TRUE BLOOD) so this probably isn't one for me.

Daryl Edelstein 6/26/12, 7:35 AM  

A long time ago I read a book by Tabitha King which was very similar and yet not ... and trust me on this .. no NYC bus driver would be wearing a cowboy hat while working ... Back from my get-away and struggling to catch up .. hey!!!

Peppermint Ph.D. 6/26/12, 1:22 PM  

I'm curious...and I do like Anna Paquin so I may give this one a try. I've never heard of it either till now.

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