EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|MARGARET (director/writer: Kenneth Lonergan; cinematographer: Ryszard Lenczewski; editors: Anne McCabe/Michael Fay; music: Nico Muhly; cast: Anna Paquin (Lisa Cohen), J. Smith-Cameron (Joan Cohen), Jean Reno (Ramon), Jeannie Berlin (Emily), Allison Janney (Monica Patterson), Matthew Broderick (John), Kieran Culkin (Paul), Mark Ruffalo (Maretti), Matt Damon (Mr. Aaron), Kenneth Lonergan (Lisa's screenwriter father), Cyrus Hernstadt (Curtis), John Gallagher Jr. (Darren); Runtime: 150; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Scott Rudin/Sydney Pollock/Gary Gilbert; Fox Searchlight; 2011)|
coming-of-age pic has a sense of deeply felt gravity."
by Dennis Schwartz
title refers to a
Gerard Manley Hopkins poem about grieving. The poem
pops up during an English class attended by the pic's
high school student heroine, Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin). Hopkins' emotionally charged
a girl named Margaret, is read aloud. The bright student from
NYC, Lisa, makes a connection with the poem. The
sarcastic teen comes from a wealthy family, who are
divorced. Her screenwriter father (Kenneth Lonergan) lives
Playwright director Kenneth
Lonergan' ("You Can Count on Me") modern-day
drama is released after six years of legal woes
involving production problems. Lisa dwells
The film's main incident has a bus driver (Mark Ruffalo), dressed in cowboy garb, distracted by Lisa running alongside the bus and flashing hand signals when he closes the door in her face. He then jumps a red light and accidentally runs over a middle-aged woman pedestrian (Allison Janney). The dying woman when comforted by Lisa, treats her as if she were her daughter.
After Lisa lies at the
deposition, saying the pedestrian crossed against the
light, she has a change of heart when she comes into
contact with the
victim's aggressive best friend (Jeannie Berlin, Elaine May’s daughter) and changes her statement
in an effort to assuage her guilt-feelings about
indirectly causing the tragedy and then lying about
it. Her change of testimony leads to a civil law suit
for over $100,000 that goes against the city and the
driver--charging him with vehicular negligence.
Matt Damon is Lisa's math teacher, whom she
goes to for advice and to confess her erratic
The coming-of-age pic has a sense of
deeply felt gravity, and questions such things as
idealism, morality and doing the right thing. In the
post-9/11 world, in
NYC, it asks what it means to get involved in
REVIEWED ON 7/7/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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