MARGARET, A Beautiful Mess of a Movie

…and according to actor/cast member Josh Hamilton I hear that the DVD will have another half hour of footage.  Have you ever sat though a movie and you kept waiting for the ending to come… and it doesn’t?  And you start getting an anxiety attack?  We’re so conditioned watching the typical 75 to 110 minute movie with the arc and the resolution, and all the rest, that when something completely different and not concerned with those conventions come along we don’t know how to deal with it.  Kenneth Lonegran’s “Margaret” is a great example of this type of movie.  I knew going into the Walter Reade the other night that this was going to be a movie that was going to make me uncomfortable and I welcomed it.  It didn’t disappoint.  I don’t know how to explain it any other way than that it is a play write’s idea of cinema.

There are various subplots introduced that are never resolved.  At a certain point, if you give into the film, you will simply eat it up.  Every character is fully realized.  There are no weak performances.  The stand out is Jeannie Berlin.  Where the fuck has this actress been the past 25 years?  Hers is a true Oscar-worthy performance.  Her role in “Margaret” is every bit as good as any Meryl Streep performance in anything she’s done since “Sophie’s Choice”.  And she doesn’t  need an accent to pull it off either.  And, believe me, I love Meryl Streep.  But I think I love Jeannie Berline more now. Her performance was sublime.  If Jeannie Berlin isn’t in at least three films in 2012, I’ll be very surprised indeed.

So, if you happen to get an opportunity to see “Margaret”, please just open up your mind.  Forget the movies you are accustomed to see and which, in most cases, you forget about hours after seeing.  Buy the ticket. Take the risk.  Take the leap. Watch an artfully entertaining, completely unpredictable movie.