6.5/10
14,383
121 user 118 critic

Margaret (2011)

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2:18 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Kenneth Lonergan
9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 2012 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Margarita See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,525, 2 October 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$46,495, 23 October 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is no character called Margaret in the film. Instead, the title refers to a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins that is read aloud in Lisa Cohen's (Anna Paquin's) class. See more »

Goofs

The front and back of the door to the driver's house do not match. See more »

Quotes

Emily: Because... this isn't an opera! And we are not all supporting characters to the drama of your amazing life!
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Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: The Oscars (2017) (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Recuérdos de la Alhambra
Written by Francisco Tárrega
Performed by Stanislaw Partyka
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A masterclass in dialogue with wonderful acting
30 July 2012 | by RolyRolySee all my reviews

The travails involved in getting this movie released at all are well enough known by now that the fact that it is a flawed masterpiece shouldn't come as a surprise. Above all, it is a masterclass in how to write dialogue. Virtually every character is given a credible and compelling voice, from the bus driver to the lawyer, from the mother's suitor to Lisa's "boyfriend". As the father of a daughter, now in her early 20's, I can say that Lisa Cohen's character is as realistic a portrayal of the insecurities and self-righteousness of female adolescence as I have seen. All aspiring screenwriters should be forced to watch this movie and then be given a 3-hour oral and written exam before being allowed to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

The acting is also superb. The feel is more of a stage play, an ensemble piece, than a film. Perhaps the fact that one of the characters - Lisa's mother - is a stage actress struggling to support her daughter is partially responsible. But you can tell that this team of seasoned actors relished the opportunity to stretch out with an intelligent well-written script and a supportive director.

The only flaw in Margaret has already been well expressed by others. The film does meander and, while I recognize that this is partly the point of the exercise, there are times at which you long for a more conventional, and taut, storyline. I would gladly have spent more time in the company of these well-drawn, articulate and interesting people. Maybe next time HBO wants to do a miniseries it will let Kenneth Lonergan loose on a story rather than subject us to another preachy, wordy effort from Aaron Sorkin.


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