Customer Reviews


32 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best American films from the last 30 years
"Margaret" is extraordinary, rare cinema. The film last almost three hours but it never lets up.

The story is excellent, the camerawork is excellent and the actors are excellent. Especially the main actor, Anna Paquin, who carries the film for its long duration.

I didn't recognise her, at first, but after a quick internet search I found out that she...
Published 16 months ago by lucas

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MY OWN PERSONAL MORAL GYMNASIUM
Minor Plot Spoiler.

There is no one named Margaret in the movie. It comes from a poem that is read. But that's okay I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo who is nether a captain nor a kangaroo. In fact there may have been a lot of stuff I didn't grasp in this film, but here goes.

The film opens in slow motion to illustrate how life moves slowly along...
Published 23 months ago by THE MOVIE GUY


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best American films from the last 30 years, 5 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
"Margaret" is extraordinary, rare cinema. The film last almost three hours but it never lets up.

The story is excellent, the camerawork is excellent and the actors are excellent. Especially the main actor, Anna Paquin, who carries the film for its long duration.

I didn't recognise her, at first, but after a quick internet search I found out that she is one of the mutants in XMen, a completely different kind of film that only tells what an amazing actress Anna Paquin is. I also found out that she is the little girl in "The Piano", film for which she won the Oscar for best supporting role at the age of eleven!!!!!!!!!!! Eleven exclamation marks there...

"Margaret" tells the story of a high school student who is learning the differences between the world we want and believe when we are very young and the real world, the one we make as we get older...

The story is so strong, so intense, so gripping and at the same time is delicate and has so many levels of perception.
I personally dislike teenagers but this film is certainly one exception. On that, I thought it was strange why none of the teenagers were not spending half their day or more on Facebook and youtube as I thought this is a new film.

The information on the dvd says that the film is from 2011 but this is incorrect.
"Margaret" was actually filmed in 2005 ( reason why Matt Damon looks so young in the film... ). What happened is that, after the end of the filming, there was a court battle that delayed the release of the film for six years.

This is only the second long feature film of Kenneth Lonergan, director of "Margaret" . It is pretty impressive because, my god, this film is so good. I watched it two days ago and am still thinking about it. The film is almost perfect. "Almost" because of the poor performance of one of the main actresses who brings the film down a bit whenever she appears.

I got the dvd from ilove film . It has the extended cut only. It has subtitles in English but no extra features ( no surprise there, considering the legal battle behind the release of the film). The film, apparently, was exhibited in very few cinemas in the UK and I never heard of this film before. As a matter of fact, when I received the film I thought it was a mistake but then I remembered that I ordered a few films with Matt Damon ( who has a small role in this film ) and "Margaret" came along...

I have just ordered the blu ray from Amazon US for £13 and would suggest anyone who loves cinema to do the same. That is, if you have a region free blu ray player. If you don't, then buy one because this film alone is worth it. The advantage of the blu ray is that you have both the extended cut and the theatrical version. I am very curious about the theatrical version because I wonder how intense is the shorter version if the three hours version is so intense, so dramatic, so poetic.

Poetic...The title of the film was taken from the poem "Spring and Fall", by Gerard Manley Hopkins. It is a complex story, written by the director, and I am in awe with this film as I rarely with a film in the past twenty years. The film obviously got some inspiration from Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire". I remember when I watched "Wings of Desire" in the cinema, last century...I left the cinema thinking that I had watched the best film of my life. I was young and I was wrong. There is no such a thing as the "best film" and, as Wim Wenders himself once said, films are not horse races.

That said, "Margaret" is certainly one of the best American films made in the past thirty years or so. Most of the actors are excellent, Anna Paquin is good to the point of the unbelievable, the story is excellent and the camerawork is excellent, especially because it invisible most of the time. No shaky cameras in this film. You don't need them to tell a gripping, involving story. All you need is a good story and "Margaret" is one of the best stories out there.

It is just a shame to see so many inconsiderate reviews with unwarned plot spoilers over here. It is disgraceful that reviewers on Amazon can get away with their mediocre, plot spoiler ridden reviews.

P.S. I've just saw that Amazon reviews team placed my review about the UK dvd together with reviews about the US blu ray disc, which has two different versions of the film. This review is about the dvd. I received the blu ray disc from Amazon US and paid almost half of the price I saw for the same blu ray disc on Amazon UK. I also watched the first film of the director of "Margaret": "You Can Count on Me". It is a fascinating and absolutely beautiful film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind Of A Masterpiece, 4 May 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
Kenneth Lonergan's delayed film 'Margaret' is a kind of masterpiece. The title of the film comes from a poem, 'Spring and Fall' by Gerald Manley Hopkins. This was a favorite poem by one of Lonergan's mentors, Patricia Broderick, and centers on a woman named Margaret. This is Lonergan's tribute to Broderick. Of note, Broderick's son plays a teacher in the film.

The film starts with a moving scene of the New York City landscape on a beautiful day, and suddenly we are smack dab in the middle of trauma and blood and gore. This scene is so profound and so well acted that it is etched permanently in our minds. Lisa, played by Anna Paquin, is the witness and partial cause of this incident. This will cause her hours and days and months of pain and grieving. She is a young girl, 17 years old and in the midst of growing up. She thinks she is an adult, but in reality she is still a teenager trying to move through her days. Overly dramatic, yes, but then her mother is an actress of some renown on the stage, and her father, a playwright/writer in Hollywood. The father is played by the director, Kenneth Lonergan, and he is quite believable as a loving but distracted father, off in his own world.

As the film proceeds we see Lisa as she grieves and as she tries to do the right thing. She is unable to talk with her mother about her mixed feelings of lying to protect someone, so she latches onto a teacher, played by Matt Damon, and then onto the best friend of the victim. The film gives us a perspective from all sides. We all have our version, and then we all have our morals and ethics to defend. What would I do in these circumstances? Difficult to say , a 17 year old me?

The writing is superb, the acting superb, and the film's storyline is a new side of an old theme. Well done, more than entertaining, thought provoking and insistent. A must see for everyone.

Recommended. prisrob 05-04-13
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MY OWN PERSONAL MORAL GYMNASIUM, 14 Jun. 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
Minor Plot Spoiler.

There is no one named Margaret in the movie. It comes from a poem that is read. But that's okay I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo who is nether a captain nor a kangaroo. In fact there may have been a lot of stuff I didn't grasp in this film, but here goes.

The film opens in slow motion to illustrate how life moves slowly along until one moment suddenly changes and defines it. Lisa (Anna Paquin) distracts a bus driver who runs a red light and kills a women. She wants to do the right thing, but what is it? The grief and moral dilemma disrupts her life and her relationships.

The film is well made. The acting was excellent as was the writing...I think. I just didn't enjoy the film, but I didn't dislike it either. The main problem I have with the overall theme is that Lisa wants justice for the dead woman. She has grief which we see, but we don't see her confess her role in the death except to the bus driver she distracted. She doesn't seem to have any guilt...or perhaps that is the point of the film is that we quickly forgive our own guilt...except we don't. I kept waiting for Lisa to take blame for what had happened and Emily (Jeannie Berlin) punch her in the mouth.

This is a film about grief, but it is not really sad. Matt Damon plays a geometry teacher who is a love interest of Lisa. Matthew Broderick plays a literature teacher whose classes provide the film with multiple confusing deeper themes for you to pick from in case you don't like the aspect of simply dealing with grief. After watching the film, I felt like I needed a hug.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, sex, nudity (J. Smith-Cameron, Ann Paquin silhouette)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Adolescent Self-dramatisation.., 3 Jan. 2015
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
...Jeannie Berlin's Emily gets right to the heart of the matter summarising troubled, self-absorbed teenager, Lisa's (played by Anna Paquin) increasingly volatile (not to say histrionic) behaviour in Kenneth Lonergan's equally troubled 2011 film. In the 'extended cut' (179 minutes long!) version of Lonergan's tale of New York teenager Lisa's attempts to come to terms with her guilt and grief having been the part-cause of a tragic fatality, the film's 'birth pains' (its release was delayed by four years from the planned 2007 date as Lonergan and Fox argued over its 'final cut') are (for me, at least) certainly evident in the film's editing, but for all its flaws Margaret has a good deal to commend it. That should not come as a great surprise since Lonergan also delivered an excellent (if lower key and less ambitious) big screen debut with 2000's You Can Count On Me, and here the film-maker/playwright draws again on a number of the cast from the earlier film.

Of course, at the heart of Margaret (a referenced Manley Hopkins' poem, not a character in Lonergan's film) is Paquin's bravura, all-engulfing turn as the petulant, feisty and (essentially) unlikeable Lisa. I must admit I found Paquin's histrionics, though no doubt broadly realistic for a hormonally-charged teen, a little OTT and grating, eventually. On the other hand, (Lonergan's wife) J Smith Cameron's performance as Lisa's increasingly 'estranged' stage actress mother - playing up one of the film's key themes of 'miscommunication' - is superb, as is that delivered by the aforementioned Berlin as Emily (particularly during the `confrontation' scene with Lisa). Elsewhere, there are also nice cameos by Mark Ruffalo (if a little brief), Matthew Broderick - excellent playing one of Lisa's schoolteachers and featuring in a key scene around the film's 'misunderstood youth' theme, here debating Shakespeare - and Matt Damon. Lonergan arguably has too many things (and narratives) going on - although he captures the all-pervading 'teen angst' nicely via Kieran Culkin's laid-back seducer Paul and John Gallagher Jr.'s nervy, reserved Darren - and it would be interesting to see whether the shorter edit focused the narrative more effectively.

That said, Lonergan's theatrical background helps pepper the film with some nicely satirical moments around artistic pretence and student bonding sessions and even though Lisa's motivations and final 'revelation' do (even for a volatile teen) stretch credibility a little, Lonergan ends his film with a beautifully poignant sequence accompanied by Offenbach's opera, The Tales Of Hoffmann.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Hope opera, 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
On the day of its cinema release, Kenneth Lonergan's long-gestating drama was the most successful film in the UK. Problem was, it only opened on one screen. The story of Margaret's production is likely a fascinating story in itself, not least because of Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker's input into the final edit, which was presumably a return favour for Lonergan's work on the screenplay for Gangs of New York. But I'll focus on the fascinating story that Lonergan has told with this film.

Ostensibly the tale centres on a New York schoolgirl named Lisa (Anna Paquin, defining her young adulthood just as she defined herself in childhood with The Piano), who inadvertently causes a fatal road accident. What follows is the emotional aftermath, fought outwardly with her mother, as a moral and ethical war wages within her hormone-ravaged body.

The performances are excellent throughout, particularly Paquin and J. Smith-Cameron as the daughter and mother caught in gravitational flux. Jean Reno gives fine support as the sad-sack Ramon, while Matthew Broderick delivers the poem (by Gerard Manley Hopkins) that provides the film's title, while suggesting the entire life of his character by the way he eats a sandwich. It's that kind of film.

I once described Winter's Bone as an anti-youth movie. Margaret could be a companion piece in this regard, cautioning against the bright-eyed naivety of youthful independence, and promoting the importance of family. Like Winter's Ree, Lisa is a lost soul; unlike Ree, Lisa is not someone we admire. But she is always in focus; Lonergan expects not for us to like her, only to understand her. In maintaining this focus, Lonergan himself achieves the admirable: weaving a narrative whose minute details and labyrinthine arguments mirror the broader existential vista against which they are dwarfed.

Margaret goes deeper than Winter's Bone, delivering something pleasingly unexpected: a kind of Sartrean modern fable about the isolating nature of subjectivity. Like her actor mother on the stage, and like us all in our semi-waking lives, Lisa is the main player in her great opera. She performs the social functions that enable her to cling to a sense of belongingness, but something gnaws at her soul. And when, after the accident, she seeks some kind of meaning, she is met at once by indifference, before being seduced by those very institutions that make indifference normal. Nothing in the material world satisfies Lisa; nothing can match her aspirations. The suggestion here, I feel, is that our despair emerges from the disparity between that which we hope for and that which reality can deliver.

No wonder it took so long to find its way to a single UK screen: a three-hour existentialist play is a tough sell. Coming ten years after the towers sank to Ground Zero, Margaret joins There Will Be Blood, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, and (for some) Zodiac in the pantheon of modern classics that map the American psyche in the post-9/11 world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Nice aspects; but overall a teenage angst movie with screeching..., 24 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Margaret (Amazon Instant Video)
Nice scene setting, good actors, great cast, nice score, good filming.

Teenage angst of a young lady called 'Lisa'- who screams and shouts about everything, following an accident she was responsible for; and blaming the driver who ran a redlight, killing a lady she didn't know.(Why her parent(s) couldn't have explained to her that making the bus driver 'pay' wasn't perhaps the RIGHT thing to do; seeing how he has ferried a lot of passengers safely I will never know). After the accident she goes a little 'haywire' and ends up pregnant. She thought herself 'intelligent' but really she was just ignorant and naive, thinking she 'knows it all'. Yes life is hard, but ending up with a 'lisa' in it is even worse.. On that basis, never call your child 'lisa'; and unless you like movies that don't really ever get anywhere yet have to suffer the screeching of a teenager to find out ; then don't watch this movie.
I can't recommend the movie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars complex but not fully successful, 14 Jan. 2012
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
I'm with Dipesh Parmar in an earlier review. This fairly long film was never dull, but it did not satisfy either. Anna Paquin plays Lisa, an intelligent teenage girl with the erratic judgement of her years, feeling passionately about many things but expressing herself often in a way which angers or upsets those around her - and herself, in the end. She's prickly and self-righteous, vulnerable and aggressive.

Lisa is not an unconvincing character ; she's just not likeable. At times she is the victim of circumstances. More often she creates trouble and aggravates it. She distresses a decent boy who likes her. She frequently upsets her mother, who is herself vulnerable. She is unable to deal successfully with her absent father, with whom she would like to spend time but to whom she talks on the 'phone, usually without very much connection, and whose offer of time spent together in the end is withdrawn. There are times when you would just like to slap her which is what (metaphorically) the dead woman's friend Emily eventually does, recognising that, while Lisa has been caught up in an event which would be traumatic for anyone, she is nonetheless making a narrative of it to suit herself, sometimes at the expense of others. I should say here that Anna Paquin's characteristic expression of startled self-righteousness turning to aggression is completely convincing ; she is very good, as are all the cast. J. Smith-Cameron as her mother also deserves special mention for a very good, understatedly fragile performance.

How much of this is the result of the film's editing, from 3 hours down to 2 and a quarter? It may be that links are missing, that some scenes, played out more fully, might carry more weight, but there is no way of knowing. There are moments when there are curious leaps, and one (in the maths teacher's apartment) when there was clear bad editing. In the end, the film seems to me to portray accurately some aspects of adolescent behaviour, but to be unsatisfactory as a dramatic whole.

P.S. (31st. July 2012) Another Amazon user has made me aware that this DVD is the full 3-hour version - I was writing about a version seen in the cinema, and should have made that clear. Thanks to my informant!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars `Margaret' is worth watching just for Anna Paquins performance,, 3 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
Lisa (Anna Paquin) is a bright, self-absorbed teenager in New York. Her carefree existence is shattered after witnessing an accident. Typical of a teenager, Lisa cannot quite articulate her grief and despair, taking her anger out on those close to her and especially her equally self-absorbed mother (J. Smith-Cameron). Growing more and more unhinged, Lisa is a disaster waiting to happen. Unable to find any solutions from her awkward attempts at sex and drugs, Lisa eventually decides to right a wrong that has been plagueing her since the accident.

`Margaret' misfires as much as it should be admired. The film is way too long, the film was originally made in 2005 but the producers could not agree on the length of the film until the director Kenneth Lonergan cut the film from 3 to the 2.5 hours cinema release. We may never know if the original 3 hours is an improvement, i personally don't think so. Some scenes are way too short, others linger too long. `Margaret' doesn't feel complete, a scene near the end of the film typifies this when what should be a shocking scene seems more of a joke and is badly misjudged.

The performances of the cast save `Margaret', especially J. Smith Cameron and Anna Paquin who both deliver fiery performances which provide the backbone to the film. Paquins performance is one of the great depictions of what it feels like to be a teen, a wonderful portrait of moral confusion and helplessness in a young woman who is completely out of her depth and who just wants to get some closure. `Margaret' is worth watching just for her performance, its a shame the film doesn't dazzle in the same way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking and Well Acted, 8 Oct. 2012
By 
Mr. S. P. Walshe (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
I can see how this film is not everyone's cup of tea. It is long, scenes are sometimes extended beyond their useful requirement and at times it just seems to plod.

That said I found all of the characters engaging and well acted and the storyline interesting and almost totally unique. There are just so many complex relationships within the film that, for me at least, the time went quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Anna Paquin is superb as the attention seeking angst ridden teenager trying to find herself, Matt Damon is Matt Damon as is Jean Reno ... J. Smith-Cameron gives a mesmerising performance as the successful actress mother who someone cannot find peace in her personal life.

All in all a film that is engaging and thought provoking and, in my opinion at least, about the right length.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait, 21 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Margaret [DVD] (DVD)
A sprawling, morally complex exploration of Bush era America and how teenage idealism is compromised by the realities of adulthood. This is a great New York movie where the city plays an integral role but the star here is Anna Paquin who gives a wonderful performance by turns touching and infuriating. This is the 3 hour version that the director intended not the 149 minute edit which was dumped into cinemas last year. It is slow and demanding but intelligent film making with writing and acting of the first order.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Margaret [DVD]
Margaret [DVD] by Kenneth Lonergan (DVD - 2012)
£5.95
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews