84. Margaret (A-)
As with most people, only now do I have the opportunity to see Kenneth Lonergan's second film, the subject of long delays, protracted legal battles, and a campaign by critics to raise its profile after its initial two-theatre release. I'm reviewing the theatrical version here.
Even the most positive reviews I've seen for this often use the adjective "messy", and I think that's definitely the case. The 150-minute cut includes a number of characters who come across as seriously extraneous (Matt Damon and Jean Reno, mainly); possibly the 183-minute version is different. As it is, I think this version of the movie needed more editing, as it's left in some things that seem there just enough to be noticeable but not enough to be worthwhile.
I debated whether this was a B+ or an A-, and ultimately ended up on the high side, after looking at the other movies I've recently assigned that rating. Margaret
has too many really strong scenes, and even most of the more extraneous parts can be tied into the protagonist's journey in a way. Anna Paquin's performance is astonishingly good; the best female lead performance of 2011 (or 2006, I guess?), I'd say.
Home Video: 56 (+1)