HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Margaret Little Miss Trouble
Year: 2011
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Stars: Anna Paquin, J. Smith-Cameron, Mark Ruffalo, Jeannie Berlin, Jean Reno, Sarah Steele, John Gallagher Jr, Cyrus Hernstadt, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin, Matt Damon, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Betsy Aidem, Adam Rose, Matthew Broderick, Olivia Thirlby
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin) is a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl at an expensive private school in New York City, and while she is intelligent she is not above cheating a little in exams, which one of her teachers, Mr Aaron (Matt Damon) talks to her about but doesn't get very far. She enjoys the cut and thrust of class debate, however, not backward about coming forward, and today one of her best friends Darren (John Gallagher Jr) asks her out, leaving her flattered but unsure of where to take this next. Then something happens which completely throws her off-balance: she was only trying to find a cowboy hat to wear for a horse riding trip with her father...

Before you say anything about Margaret, it was almost compulsory to point out the troubled production history it suffered, with the editing process taking over five years after the film had ended shooting in 2005. It seemed writer and director Kenneth Lonergan just couldn't get his act together in bringing the film to a satisfying conclusion, with the result it became a major headache in his career and an embarrassment to the studio that it took so long to even get one cut which was at least satisfying on some level as a story, never mind the two versions which were actually released. And even then, watching what they came up with remained frustrating, not least because by this stage it was a film whose time had passed.

Although bearing that in mind, when you did watch the longer, three hour edit you could see that Lonergan had been so intent on bringing as much of an experience of his main character's life to the screen as he possibly could that it still came across as needing work, and could easily have lasted another hour without feeling as if it was a fully realised picture. Watching it was like having a conversation with a genuinely interesting stranger who was telling you about their trials and tribulations, but then having fatigue set in and eventually wanting them in no uncertain terms to stop talking so you can both get on with your own lives. Yet the fact remained they were still engaging.

Much of that was down to the quality of the performances and the writing, which brought out the best in them all, in particular Anna Paquin whose depiction of a teenager struggling with responsibilities no one should really have to deal with was extremely painful to watch, but only because she so inhabited the character that she was almost too convincing. Lisa's world is not so much turned upside down as a long, dark shadow is cast over it when she is out shopping for that hat and catches sight of exactly what she wants on the head of a passing bus driver (Mark Ruffalo, star of Lonergan's previous, far less issue-fraught directorial effort). In trying to attract his attention, something truly awful happens that neither of them intended, but must blame themselves for ever after.

That scene is one of the strongest in the film, and it needed to be, as the driver doesn't notice the red light, hits a woman (Allison Janney), taking off her leg and killing her, though not before she has died in the distraught Lisa's arms. It's superbly acted, shocking and disturbing, yet it's as if Lonergan spent the rest of the movie, and indeed the rest of about six years, flailing as he tried to live up to it, so Lisa goes back to school, continues to stay with her divorced theatre star mother (J. Smith-Cameron, the director's wife), and so forth, but things have irrevocably changed, as if the accident has sent out ripples of pain through the souls of everyone in the film. Lisa insists on making poor choices, which you could put down to the crushing guilt she is unable to handle, and tests the audience's sympathy, but as you can see why she has ended up this way you can identify where she is compensating if not where she could improve. As Margaret (not named after a character) sprawls ever onwards, it impresses but fails to give shape to uncontrollable grief. Music by Nico Muhly.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1739 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: