A film whose initial release was held up for five years, thanks to a series of legal wrangles, the eventual cinematic debut of Margaret
was, perhaps inevitably, strangely muted. But what a treat it is. From director Kenneth Lonergan, who was behind the brilliant You Can Count On Me
is an ensemble drama, the catalyst for which is a bus crash. The crash is witnessed by Anna Paquin’s Lisa, and it forces her to question whether it was really an accident. Things spiral from there, affecting more than just Lisa herself, and drawing the film’s large cast together.
Margaret is an involving, intelligent and absorbing piece of cinema, that if anything feels a little bit short. Running to well over two hours, there’s nonetheless still a sense that one or two of the story fragments are missing. But still, there’s plenty here to feast on. Furthermore, there are interesting themes that Lonergan’s film isn’t shy about exploring, and there’s a good deal to dissect once the credits roll.
Don’t be put off by the relatively low-key DVD release, then. Margaret is a gem, the kind of film that’ll be discovered for some time to come, and appreciated by those who like their drama with some real substance to it. The long delay in releasing it hasn’t helped the film, certainly, but Margaret very much deserves to find a big audience on DVD. --Jon Foster
A young woman witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people's lives.