Margaret (Extended Cut) Screen 9 articles

Margaret (Extended Cut)

2011

Margaret (Extended Cut) Poster
  • This is nonetheless a much more expansive vision—almost a narrative corollary to Tscherkassky's "Outer Space," in which the helpless heroine is beset not by cinema itself but by the rest of the world, which keeps intruding from the margins.

  • This is a supplemental document to watch at home rather than something ready for theatrical projection. It's great that it exists, but those who haven't seen Margaret yet should watch the theatrical cut first.

  • Lonergan could have maintained his focus purely on this dramatic line, and crafted a fairly straight-ahead coming-of-age story. But Margaret is far more ambitious, a project interested in exploring novelistic narrative and willing to incorporate its central character’s highly contradictory and mercurial nature into its own cinematic grammar.

  • The [extended cut] in fact is anything but sprawling or rambling in its storytelling., but is in fact both economical and carefully structured. Whenever Lonergan cuts away to shots of Manhattan cityscapes or to some of the classroom discussions at the private school attended by Lisa (Anna Paquin), the 17-year old protagonist — two forms of narrative suspension in relation to the overall plot — the effect is always musical while remaining thematically relevant to the film’s larger concerns.

  • In the longer version, much of the score is replaced by opera music. At times where the emotional reaction of the characters reaches an almost unbearable crescendo, the soundtrack goes mute apart from an opera track. Providing emotional release in such a manner, uses the form of the film to illustrate its thematic conclusion when an operatic performance offers the troubled, disconnected Lisa and her mother a transcendent moment where there is a communion between the artist and the audience.

  • Margaret earns its operatic epilogue because of its accumulation of all of these smaller moments and miniature climaxes. Again with the contradictions—it's a big, emotional ejaculation of a movie about an often irrationally passionate protagonist that is also soberly, classically structured, opening with major conflict and building towards that final, tearful, moral resolution.

  • MARGARET is rich, thick, multi-faceted, unhurried (despite its well-publicized editing troubles). Centering around the story of one young woman's realization of some of the world's very scope, this movie is also about the behaviors, the gestures, the events, and the feelings that coincide with every individual story. The layered sound design, prevalent especially in extended cut, underlines this approach; sound is important because we can't isolate it as easily as with pictorial elements.

  • The more I watched the more I realized it was trying to show all of life in a city that’s come to represent one half of American life, the fast thinking liberals with more conscience than they know with what to do. . . . Frankly there isn’t a bad moment of performance in this movie, which utilizes poetry, literature, opera and theatre to help us understand the experience of being alive. This movie is a terrifying gift, one of the great films of my lifetime.

  • As Lisa’s little world comes up against the realm of public power . . . , the movie rises to a grand symbolic pitch; it’s a city symphony, romantic yet scathing, lyrical with street life and vaulting skylines, reckless with first adventure, and awed by the intellectual and poetic abstractions on which the great machine runs. Lonergan’s longer, three-hour-plus cut expands some plot points and, above all, emphasizes his nearly metaphysical vision of New York.

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