Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cinema Saturday

There are quite a few great looking books coming out on July 10th but there's also a movie coming out on the 10th, Margaret with Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, Allison Janney . . .

Fox Searchlight
July 10, 2012
150 mins; R for 'strong language, sexuality, some drug use and disturbing images'
(starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo)
info on IMDb/Blu-Ray/DVD on Amazon 

While on the quest, in New York City, for a cowboy hat for an upcoming trip, a teenage girl (Anna Paquin) witnesses a woman get hit by a bus. The questions that surface in the aftermath - whether it was a truly an accident, who played what part and what she needs to do will turn Lisa life - and that of her family and several others - upside down.

Margaret is about a young, teenage girl - Lisa Cohen - who attends a New York City private school full of, as she says "over-privileged liberal Jews" who witnesses a terrible accident that traumatizes her. The movie doesn't take the course you would expect with the accident being the at the start of the movie nor do the events following take an expected turn.

Lisa doesn't get counseling, she doesn't really even let on to her mother what's happened. We see a brilliant job from Anna Paquin directly after the accident that gives viewers a glimpse into the effect it had on her but after that it's almost all kept inside - or at least not freely expressed, they leak out.

Where things are really great with Margaret, though, is we don't just see how the pain impacts Lisa. The story doesn't zoom into one little aspect of her life, leaving all the others out of focus and in the background, you get the full picture of how this trauma has impacted Lisa and her life and how that's impacting her mother and their relationship and then how it's effecting others as well.

It not only gives viewers a broader sense of the story - and of Lisa - but makes the movie in general feel more whole. Lisa's mother having her own life, that we slowly see effected only brings home that there is something going on with her daughter.

It's also nice to see a movie where someone who's not the main character has their own life, their own tale. Not having the whole moving revolve around Lisa, while at the same time it sort of does, is fantastic.

There's a conversation-slash-fight she has with her mother about forty minutes in that is really just perfect. Not only does it illustrate just how mothers and daughters can have arguments and sounds incredibly true to life, it's also a prime illustration of how Lisa's feeling - and that her mother doesn't really know what's going on; partially due to the new developments in her own life and partially due to Lisa's keeping everything so private.

The acting, especially by Anna Paquin but by the entire cast really, is terrific in Maragret. The character of Darren reminds me of a mix of Andy Samberg and maybe Jessie Eisenberg.

For a movie about how one event connects - and destroys - so many people, i love that footage of New York and NYC itself are so much a part of the movie. The alone-ness while being surrounded just fits with the film. The slow motion city shots from the beginning credits (as well as later on) make sense and work, as well, once you get into the movie.

A note: This film was shot in 2005 but due to editing, legal issues (an LA Times blog article about it) it wasn't released until late 2011 to a few theatres and then to Blu-Ray/DVD next week so there are references in it to the President (meaning Bush) and Iraq and Afghanistan that while still relevant make slightly more sense for classroom discussion when put in a 2005 time frame.

thank you to ThinkJam for my screener copy

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