(No longer in theaters)
Sydney Pollack, Gary Gilbert, Scott Rudin
Sep 30, 2011
Shot more than six years ago, heavily edited by many hands, Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret is finally ready for release. No wonder it took so long. The last hour is a fiasco, full of mismatched shots, subplots from nowhere, and 360-degree pans that make you want to ship the director to film school. But the first hour and change is jaw-dropping in a good way—that distinctive Lonergan way, the characters given their tongues and allowed to go wherever their fancies (and neuroses) take them, story structure be damned. Anna Paquin plays the too-poised Manhattan 17-year-old who inadvertently triggers a fatal bus crash and spends a long time acting out before … acting. It’s an amazingly brave, all-out performance, marred only by atrocious cinematography. J. Smith-Cameron plays her actress mother, Jeannie Berlin the best friend of the victim, Kieran Culkin the laid-back hipster Margaret invites to take her virginity. This is the first bad movie that has ever made me call for a sequel—to get it all right.