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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

June 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM

The story behind “Margaret”

(So, yesterday I blogged about the dark weather and, just like that, the sun came out. Anyone have any other complaints you’d like me to address?)
Did anyone out there see “Margaret,” the Kenneth Lonergan film that played here briefly early in the year? Filmed in 2005 and starring Anna Paquin, it spent years in the editing room, held up by legal troubles and various delays; finally released in two theaters in September and then, after an online publicity campaign launched by a film critic, in a handful of other places very late in the year. I would have put it in my ten best of 2011, but I didn’t see it in time; it didn’t screen here until January. The story of a teenager whose privileged life is thrown into turmoil after she inadvertently witnesses (and helps to cause) a terrible accident, it’s a big, messy, amazing film about questions that have no answers, about how youth slips away, about the realizations that change us forever.
“Margaret” comes out on DVD July 10, with a unique twist. Two versions of the film will be on the disk: Lonergan’s theatrical-release version (which ran 160 minutes, and never felt long), and a three-hour-plus extended cut. And this week, the New York Times has a fascinating story about what went wrong with “Margaret,” and how a masterpiece got lost and found in the editing room. Though Lonergan can’t talk too much about what happened (due to an ongoing lawsuit), his friends Matthew Broderick and Mark Ruffalo (both of whom are in the film) can, along with others involved in the long story of “Margaret.” It’s a good read.

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