film review: margaret
for $3.99 on your amazon instant video you can find margaret, a diamond of a movie, made before anna paquin was sookie stackhouse. a film buried for many years because nobody wanted to run with the directors cut of the movie, which is about three hours long. so it got lost in the shuffle and opened many years later to a handful of theaters in late 2011. i first heard of it because the onion said it was the best movie of 2011, which i thought was really interesting so i kept my eye out for it.
of films i have seen this year, in and out of theaters, it is certainly one of the best. it’s amazing, painful portrayal of what it’s like to be a teenage girl, what it’s like to be a child, a parent, a general all around human would be hard to beat. even the most minor characters in this film were given their due, a poignant snippet of what it must be like to be them that shoots you strait through the heart bone. which i thought was a beautiful thing to do for a movie set in a post 9/11 new york city. and which eloquently and quietly deals with 9/11 themes better than any movie i’ve seen so far. most films clumsily over handle it, imho.
anna paquin as a teenager was the best teenager i think i’ve ever seen on film, and by that i mean that it was uncomfortable to watch her because i saw myself in it; the nastiness, the selfishness, the sexual blundering, the sorrow, the idealism. i wish i could home make her an oscar even though she already has one. hot damn, that was a good reminder of why she got one in the first place.
this film won’t be for everyone because of it’s pacing. most of the film you feel as if you are actually watching real people live their real lives rather than being told a story. i would say it reminded me a lot of hsiao-hsien hou films, which can also be hard to watch but i find them really beautiful. and i would argue that it does tell a story, a story that might be too much like real life to see it that way right off the bat.
the themes of grief and the human search for meaning in tragedy set against the theater of teen life was just…amazing. amazing. this was an amazing film.