After six years of legal drama and struggles in the editing room, Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" is finally arriving with something of a whimper, with the release date set for thirty days from now and a trailer and poster only coming into view today. It's a bit of an anti-climatic ending to the saga of Lonergan's sophomore effort after his acclaimed "You Can Count On Me," with the big question remaining: has the wait been been worth it? Well, take a look below to get a hint at your answer.
Featuring an ensemble cast led by a now-very-young-looking Anna Paquin who is joined by Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Olivia Thirlby, the film chronicles the ripples caused in the wake of a horrific traffic accident. Having witnessed the crash that kills a woman, Paquin finds herself holding the strings of other lives that remain in the balance, including that of the bus driver, played by Ruffalo. In between all this, Paquin embarks on an affair with her teacher (Damon) presumably something her boyfriend (Kieran Culkin) doesn't know about. There are a lot of balls in the air and some intense emotions and while we desperately want to love this one, the trailer presents a pretty histrionic and not entirely convincing story. Everyone seems to be in good form (particularly Ruffalo) but there is something a bit heavy-handed and slightly uneven about the tone. For what it's worth, Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker are arbitrating a final edit with Lonergan’s approval, so perhaps this is just a case of a trailer trying to condense what is likely a multi-threaded tale.
"Margaret" opens on September 30th in limited release. Check out the synopsis and trailer below (or in HD at Apple).
MARGARET centers on a 17-year-old New York City high-school student who feels certain that she inadvertently played a role in a traffic accident that has claimed a woman's life. In her attempts to set things right she meets with opposition at every step. Torn apart with frustration, she begins emotionally brutalizing her family, her friends, her teachers, and most of all, herself. She has been confronted quite unexpectedly with a basic truth: that her youthful ideals are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world.