Saturday, January 14, 2012

jan 19/20 | margaret

MARGARET is back! Two nights only, Jan 18 & 19, at the Vancouver International Film Centre. Kenneth Lonergan's film is loose, structurally, and chooses a different sort of narrative shape than the vast majority of commercial movies: it wanders, observes, doesn't build to carefully sculpted climaxes, doesn't hit its points on the head. For some, it overstays its welcome: its fans (I'm one) wish it ran the full 3+ hours that I think the director would prefer. My favourite of the films I've seen this year - indeed, I have to go back to TREE OF LIFE last July to find the last movie I enjoyed as much, and that stayed on my mind so long.

One astute friend wrote "It's was a good 90 minute film that was 180 minutes long. Mr. Lonergan needed a good editor. Besides the scenic filler, he left in many 'good' scenes that either did nothing to further the story or completely lacked any 'stakes'. I wasnt certain what the young woman's dilemma really was - guilt over her participation in the accident?, angst over her life and it's expectations?, tension from coming of age?"

I completely disagree (and reassure potential viewers that MARGARET is only 150 minutes long), but I pass along his comments as fair warning that your reaction may be the same. Lonergan either tried and failed to make the kind of "well made" movie my friend describes, or he was doing something quite different and succeeded - if not completely, enough for me to love his movie.


Anonymous said...

Can't say it's in the top three movies of the recent past. Nevertheless it's very good. There are enough moments that left me troubled and puzzled to make it an honest reflection on how we actually experience life and other people.

Ron Reed said...

So it's in the top four, then?