Keswick Film Club - Margaret

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Sunday 6th January 5:00 PM


Director: Kenneth Lonergan Country: USA
Cert: 15 Year: 2011 Length: 150 mins

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 107KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 78.57% Attendance: 116




We start and end our season with films that should be main-stream, but aren’t. This film took 5 years to see the light of day, but "...the resulting movie is stunning: provocative and brilliant, a sprawling neurotic nightmare of urban catastrophe, with some-thing of John Cassavetes and Tom Wolfe, and rocket-fuelled by a superbly thin-skinned performance by Anna Paquin" - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian.

Lisa is the 17 year old daughter of a Broadway stage star and goes to private school; it shows. She is mouthy, self-obsessed, sexy but naive, living for the moment. She gets into her mind to buy a cowboy hat and, seeing a bus driver wearing one, she runs alongside, flirtatiously trying to attract his attention to find out where he bought it. The driver cannot resist looking...with disastrous results.

The film then follows Lisa’s more and more desperate attempts to make up for the consequences, driven by guilt... or is it righteousness...or just vengeance against the world for putting her in this position?

Anna Paquin, who stars as Lisa, rightfully gets high praise for her role here. Although she had already played Rogue in the 'X Men' series, this was filmed before her leading role in the tv series 'True Blood', and was her first chance to show she could really act. Alongside her, we also get to see Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo... and even Jean Reno

The director, Kenneth Lonergan, created a real stir with his first film - ‘You Can Count On Me’ - in 2000 and then all went quiet. Whilst he was successfully writing scripts (including ‘Gangs of New York’), the world did not know he was fighting the studio to get ‘Margaret’ released as he wanted it, getting Martin Scorsese on his side along the way. He eventually accepted this shorter version, but not until 2011 was it finally released.

This is truly a film that belongs in the ‘one that nearly got away’ mould, which, as Peter Travers says in Rolling Stone "What a shame. Margaret, for all its flaws, is a film of rare beauty and shocking gravity...Seek it out. You can thank me later".

Why is it called ‘Margaret’? You will have to come along and find out for yourself.. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


open_quote The acting is uniformly wonderful. It's a phoenix of a film, risen from the ashes of what looked alarmingly like failure, and it needs to be seen. close_quote Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph



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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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