129 user 126 critic

Margaret (2011)

R | | Drama | 1 June 2012 (Italy)
2:18 | Trailer
A young woman witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people's lives.


Kenneth Lonergan
9 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Paquin ... Lisa Cohen
J. Smith-Cameron ... Joan
Mark Ruffalo ... Maretti
Jeannie Berlin ... Emily
Jean Reno ... Ramon
Sarah Steele ... Becky
John Gallagher Jr. ... Darren
Cyrus Hernstadt Cyrus Hernstadt ... Curtis
Allison Janney ... Monica Patterson
Kieran Culkin ... Paul
Matt Damon ... Mr. Aaron
Stephen Adly Guirgis ... Mitchell
Betsy Aidem ... Abigail
Adam Rose ... Anthony
Nick Grodin ... Matthew


Bothersome New York City high-school student Lisa Cohen (17), who consistently messes up her life and that of boy classmates, searches New York in vain for a fit cowboy hat to wear at an excursion with her separated father and stepmother. Spotting one on bus driver Maretti's head but failing to board, she stubbornly runs along and keeps claiming his confused attention, until the bus hits a blind senior, who is wounded fatally The NYPD quickly closes the case as an accident, but Lisa, duly consumed by guilt and spared any charge, starts bothering everyone and making a mean pest of herself, not only at home, as self-absorbed actress mother may deserve, but also in the precinct, tracking down the victim's uninterested kin out of town and even Maretti at home. A family friend lawyer gets involved in the case, digging in to compromising circumstances and causing real trouble to people who were of the hook. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, sexuality, some drug use and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In fall 2007, Gary Gilbert hired Dylan Tichenor to help create another edit of the film. He and Tichenor created a two-hour cut, dubbed the "Peggy cut" (after Gilbert's production company), with which Kenneth Lonergan was unsatisfied. Lonergan finished his own two-and-a-half-hour cut over half a year later, in summer 2008.

Tichenor was actually called in by Scott Rudin; while he spoke with Gilbert, Rudin and Lonergan during his work on the film, there was no input from any of them regarding the cut he eventually delivered, un-finished. Tichenor never called that cut the "Peggy cut". See more »


When Lisa comes home after the accident, throws up and hugs her mother, there's no blood on her arms and hands. In the next shots under the shower, there is plenty. See more »


David: A red light case is a 50-50 proposition already.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Extended version released on DVD runs for 178 minutes. See more »


Referenced in English Vinglish (2012) See more »


Moonbeam Lullaby
Written by Bobby Sunshine
Performed by Bobby Sunshine
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
See more »

User Reviews

I don't know what to think
21 July 2012 | by Red_IdentitySee all my reviews

This is the Theatrical Cut...What to say of the film? I definitely enjoyed it at times, and it had some powerful scenes and acting. Paquin in particular has some very impressive moments, and the characters here are all interesting. It's hard to really grasp the characterization at times, and the melodramatic moods that go along with the different plot lines make for a very interesting, very unique, spin. The film is never flat out dull, and there's always a hint of genius behind it all, but ultimately it feels like a structurally messy composition of story lines. It's a very odd, inconsistent film, and even Paquin's portrayal and character is hard to wrap your finger around. Like I said, there are moments of brilliance, but also scenes that I didn't care for at all and scenes that left me feeling nothing other than confusion as to why they were there. I get the impression that the writer/director is really trying something here, and sometimes it felt like he succeeded, but as a film there's one too many flaws. The editing is rather distracting, and while it worked at times there's no reason why it shouldn't have been much better in certain moments. Scenes come and go without any particular flow, and it really hurts the film.

Ultimately, this is a frustrating, uneven, incohesive film with inconsistent characters and a pretty great, but again inconsistent, main performance by Anna Paquin. Don't be fooled, there are great moments sprinkled in here, and Lisa's classroom scenes really resonate, but it's just not enough to recommend. I wish I actually wanted to seek out the Extended Cut, but I really don't. I know many people will read this and say I "didn't get it" and that's fine since it works both ways for all film buffs, but I'm not a fan, and the more I think about it the less I like it. At least it's not boring.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

1 June 2012 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Margaret See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,525, 2 October 2011

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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