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Margaret's Museum (1995)

R | | Drama | 26 January 1996 (USA)
Margaret MacNiel, a girl living in a Cape Breton coal mining town, finds her life changing when she meets Neil Currie, a cheerful bagpipe-playing dishwasher. Unfortunately, neither of them are able to escape the industry around them.

Director:

Mort Ransen

Writers:

Sheldon Currie (story "The Glace Bay Miner's Museum"), Gerald Wexler | 1 more credit »
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10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helena Bonham Carter ... Margaret MacNeil
Clive Russell ... Neil Currie
Craig Olejnik ... Jimmy MacNeil
Kate Nelligan ... Catherine MacNeil
Kenneth Welsh ... Angus MacNeil
Andrea Morris ... Marilyn
Peter Boretski ... Grandfather Dunald MacNeil
Barrie Dunn Barrie Dunn ... Mr. Campbell
Norma Dell'Agnese ... Mrs. Campbell
Glenn Wadman Glenn Wadman ... Willy
Elizabeth Richardson Elizabeth Richardson ... Sister
Ida Donovan Ida Donovan ... Sarah
Gordon Joe Gordon Joe ... Hum Sing
Wayne Reynolds Wayne Reynolds ... Fraser
Murdoch MacDonald Murdoch MacDonald ... Clerk
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Storyline

In a town where half the men die down the coalpit, Margaret MacNeil is quite happy being single. Until she meets Neil Currie, a charming and sincere bagpipe-playing, Gaelic-speaking dishwasher. But no matter what you do, you can't avoid the spectre of the pit forever. Written by <rosie@ihug.co.nz>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She found a way to preserve her memories forever.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | UK

Release Date:

26 January 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Ende aller Träume See more »

Filming Locations:

Dominion, Nova Scotia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$524,963
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Angus MacNeil: I've been sober too long, Margaret; it's kept me from thinking straight.
See more »


Soundtracks

Miss Drummond of Perth
(traditional)
Performed by Barry Shears
See more »

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User Reviews

 
the cost of coal mining
20 July 2010 | by BERSERKERpoetrySee all my reviews

Few films capture the strange and elusive energy of maritime Canada, and those that try are often so inept as to do it no justice. The style of speech and emotional resonance of these characters carries through in a way that cannot be pretended at or treated like some amusing passing interest. "New Waterford Girl" got it right. So does this film. It takes a strong, central female performance to tie this story together, and it gets that in Helena Bonham Carter. She is luminous in her look and speech, a kind of animal type of push for freedom. Kate Nelligan is fully convincing as her mother, a believable reflection of who she might become.

The general look and feel of "Margaret's Museum" is a curious thing. The style of director Mort Ransen and cinematographer Vic Sarin is very straightforward. The images are driven by content solely, by composition. Every visual aspect is informed by straight realism. It's not the sort of film that makes you say "What a beautiful shot," but instead "What a beautiful person/place/thing." You see past the camera, more to what is there in front of you, in front of the characters.

The ending (which proves the reason behind the film's title) is a bug surprise. Every single day, ordinary people do strange and unexpected things, but it is rare to find a script that takes a real, human character and gives her one such bizarre action to commit. But "Margaret's Museum" is a fascinating, unexpected film. It takes a well-used dramatic arc and directs it toward uncommon places. It captures the spirit and feel of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Something I've known quite well, and could always feel more. See this.


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