Margaret DVD Review

Sulty and saucy Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin), a Manhattan teenager, makes deals with hot math teachers Mr. Aaron (Matt Damon), and breaks the heart of her classmates, like Darren. When the quest for a cowboy hat turns deadly, she lies to cover up the mistake she had a hand in. Her life of ease and entitlement becomes entangled with the fate of a middle-aged woman named Monica, whose life is lost in a split second when the weight of her guilt threatens to crush her. She sets out to right her wrong, even if no one stands behind her.

Her actress mother, Joan (J. Smith-Cameron), is far more concerned with her new admirer Ramon (Jean Reno) and  her career that seems ever on the verge of a breakthrough. She’s so wrapped up in herself that she cannot see the pain that her daughter is in. Instead of being supportive or seeing Lisa’s outbursts for what they are, she lashes out at the girl just as much.

The only real sympathetic ear comes by way of a teacher Mr. Aaron, who sympathy turns into a gateway to Lisa’s internal destruction.  But Damon’s turn as a teacher is far more memorable than Matthew Broderick’s performance, as another of Lisa’s teachers.

The name Margaret, comes from a poem, which you can read here. It’s makes a brief cameo, and there are certainly parallels between Margaret and Lisa, but the poem is hardly a centerpiece and easily missed.

The first hour of the film is packed full of sweeping cinematic shots, and deep lethargy for Paquin’s Lisa. Paquin at times comes across as an unsympathetic character but is ultimately mesmerizing to watch. And, it’s no wonder why she disconnects when all the adults around her who should be protecting her are failing miserably on their jobs.

After all, following the horrific and bloody accident why the hell did the cops not call Lisa’s parents? Seriously, how is it okay to let a blood soaked teenager go home alone after witnessing a horrific traffic accident? Her mother, rather than to telling her to just tell the truth, tells her to think of Bus driver’s family. Seriously, going back to her day to day life Lisa is prickly, thin-skinned and withdrawn. The guilt is eating away at her, and you worry about the guy who was driving the bus.

Director Kenneth Lonergan takes his time displaying all of the trauma, rage, blame, overtalking and interrupting that transform Lisa's life. It makes for a very poignant piece. It’s not perfect, but it is heart wrenching, and at times difficult to watch. The tone, and even the outcome are very much steeped in reality. Nothing is perfect, and justice can be very bittersweet.

Margaret comes to DVD today.


Copyright © 2013 Something to Muse About and Blogger Templates - Anime OST.