Thursday, September 1, 2011

Trailer for long-delayed 'Margaret' shows promise

By Sarah Sluis

Filmed in 2005 and since held up by not one, but two lawsuits related to director Kenneth Lonergan's (You Can Count on Me) incredibly long cut of the movie, Margaret will finally release on September 30, 2011. After watching the trailer, I think this is the rare film that might actually benefit from the long delay between filming and release. Anna Paquin starts as a high schooler who feels she has contributed to a bus accident that resulted in a woman's death. The synopsis describes her journey as such: "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." Now, Paquin is six years older and has a lead role in the racy drama "True Blood." She's far since passed the age of being cast as a high schooler. This is a story about youth lost, told using an actress who has since aged six years. What's more poignant than that?

The supporting cast includes Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, and Allison Janney, all actors who have maintained their star power. Compare this to the disastrous, long-delayed 2008 animated film Delgo, which had a voice cast populated with faded young wonders like Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt (sorry, folks). Margaret has achieved something of a legendary status among those who saw initial cuts of the movie (reported to be over three hours). Martin Scorsese called it a masterpiece. He eventually sent in his editor Thelma Schoonmaker to help pare the movie down to a more normal running time. With its late-September release date, the movie is not in a time slot that screams "awards push," but there may be another reason for the timing. Lonergan's initial goal was to use the film to meditate on the aftermath of 9/11, and this year marks the tenth anniversary of the tragedy.

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