Saturday, December 24, 2011

Two Last/First Things on "Margaret"

Actually, I'll probably have more to say later (a pedant's work is never done), but for now, two timely things about Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret worth noting:

Margaret re-opened at the Cinema Village in New York yesterday. I'd like to think this had something to do with its impressive showing in a couple of year-end critics' polls (to which I feel honored to have contributed)  as well as the fairly constant internet campaign conducted on the film's behalf by a number of bloggers, writers, ordinary folks, etc. (Not to mention its newfound popularity in the UK, where it recently opened to rave reviews and, reportedly, some solid box-office.) Anyway, go see it, if you're in NY. Don't expect it to stay there for long. I'll be there, too, at some point.

- I did actually get to see Margaret again several weeks ago, when the good folks at Fox were kind enough to schedule some year-end awards consideration screenings. (In case you're wondering: The damn thing does even more than hold up.) Since this was my first time seeing the film at an actual critics' screening, it was also the first time I saw the film's press notes. Though I knew plenty about the film by this point, I thought I'd read the notes, given the various complications (already discussed) around promoting Margaret. And I was a bit surprised to discover that, while writer-director Lonergan is legally not allowed to say much about the film, the presskit does open up with a surprisingly forward description of the film by him. I thought I'd share it here, as it encapsulates his work rather eloquently:
"I've wanted to tell this story for a long time. It's meant to be a kind of a teen epic -- a documentary urban opera built on the everyday details, frustrations and obstacles that make real life so challenging, so funny and so painful. It's a very close look at somebody who learns the hard way that you can't get the world to do what you want because there are millions of others right next to you trying to do the exact same thing, and that once you've run through your idealism, all you've got is your character and your capacity for love."
To which I say: "Testify!"


  1. Notably, that press kit, like the print, bears a 2008 copyright.

  2. Ahh, interesting... Oh, what a year 2008 could have been.

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