Margaret centers on a 17-year-old New York City high-school student (Lisa) who witnesses and inadvertently causes a bus accident that leaves a woman dead in her arms. In a futile effort to put things right, and with the help of the victim’s best friend, Lisa helps to file a wrongful-death suit.
Margaret “reflects its adolescent subject with striking accuracy. It can be frustrating and self-important, clumsy and naive. But it's also passionate, curious and filled with insight, so unafraid in its ambitions that even the flaws are interesting. Every bold vision requires respect; a few deserve celebration. This is one of them, imperfections and all” (Weitzman, 2011).
The film is most famous for its post-production hell: the 3-hour film was shot in 2005; however, You Can Count on Me’s Lonergan was contractually obligated to deliver a 150-minute cut. After many lawsuits, Lonergan was fired and his friend and collaborator Martin Scorsese edited the 150-minute cut. AV Library holds the complete director’s cut, which still feels like a work in progress. Nevertheless, Margaret is some kind of masterpiece that was worth the wait.
Weitzman, Elizabeth. “'Margaret' review: Anna Paquin film years in the making is worth the wait”. www.nydailytimes.com. 30 Sep. 2011.