Anna Paquin was phenomenal. I really enjoyed the classroom scenes but the sex scenes were gratuitous, to the point of halting the momentum of the film.I found the protagonist strangely admirable, with a moderately high emotional intelligence for someone constantly treated as a spectator in her own life. The opera parallel was poignant. This film shows that there may be dormant wisdom beyond the angst of adolescence.
What a film. The 3-hour cut fully expresses Lonergan's complete vision of the story; his complex writing portrays human life as it has rarely been achieved on screen. His characters shout at each other, make mistakes and regret about them just like in real life; Charlie Kaufman must have loved this movie. What got me is the spontaneity each actor shows throughout; I really hope Kenneth Lonergan keeps on making films.
A lived-in depiction of burgeoning morality, 'Margaret' is all encompassing in its radical humanism. From the drifting audio, aimless street shots and crafty ensemble, Lonergan establishes a world where attempting to grasp the chaos of the universe only contributes to it. His dramaturgy, both epic and humble, strikes a nice balance for Lisa's register of action, intent and consequence, the gulf between each.
An inchoate masterpiece, but a masterpiece nonetheless. It is an underrated film about the behaviour of people. It features some of the most mesmerizing and complex characterizations I've ever seen in any movie. Through her riveting performance, Anna Paquin has a created a rare character: a mouthy, smart, self-absorbed but emotionally naive teenager. (P.S. See the extended 3-hour version, to understand it better)
Lonergan is a master of actualising the relatable unsympathetic protagonist to screen, uncanny in articulating a highly-strung, precocious post-adolescent college grad with a vendetta. Some of the film's dialogue echoed Jonathan Franzen's novel, 'The Corrections'. 'Margaret' is a rough-cut diamond with a raw edge akin to a Kaufman script or Zwigoff film. Its messy flair unites content and form inextricably.
To grow up in mid-2000s NYC seems an interesting experience, and one this film depicts fairly successfully, although I found it somewhat scattershot at times. The 9/11 allegory angle is perhaps a bit too facile; I think it's more profitable to consider what the poetry, plays and operas suggest about Lisa's worldview.
3.5. A bone-shavingly close send-up of a precociously perceptive, painfully deluded young woman tortuously navigating Shaw's moral gymnasium, from which she finally emerges with the provisional realization that while we may be unable to help one another very much, or even to understand each other hardly at all, art and its kin catharses can at least make us cry together, clearing the stage for (re)new(ed) illusions.
During the first half I was onboard with this, but there was a turning point: the discussion between Anna Paquin and Mark Ruffalo's characters was so annoying that it seemed to drag everything down with it: all of a sudden all characters became pretty unbearable and whether they were shouting during class, frenetically talking with lawyers or at restaurants discussing opera or Judaism... I just stopped caring.
I really like this. I was worried that it would be too long but it really justifies it's legnth and I wasn't bored. Amazing central performance. It's rare you get a character you can dislike so much and yet totally understand and feel sympathy for. Perhaps it could be cut a little and it's occasionally a bit jumbled.