Where is “Margaret”?

Whatever happened to Kenneth Lonergan‘s Margaret, a drama shot in 2005 with Anna Paquin, Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo in the lead roles? Produced by Scott Rudin and Sydney Pollack and exec produced by Anthony Minghella, it’s said to be still in the cutting room with plans to get it out sometime this year. A CHUD article posted today by Jeremy Smith sifts through various quotes, reports and indications.


Matt Damon, Anna Pacquin in Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret

I for one am scared by this IMDB synopsis, which makes the film sound like a mopey downer about coping with guilt. I’m obviously not saying it is this kind of film. I would expect otherwise, given the pedigree of the creative team. But why hasn’t it at least shown up at one of the festivals? Why hasn’t something happened?
“Margaret centers on a 17-year-old New York City high-school student who feels certain that she inadvertently played a role in a traffic accident that has claimed a woman’s life,” the synopsis reads. “In her attempts to set things right she meets with opposition at every step. Torn apart with frustration, she begins emotionally brutalizing her family, her friends, her teachers, and most of all, herself. She’s been confronted quite unexpectedly with a basic truth: that her youthful ideals are on a collision course against the realities and compromises of the adult world.”

  • Jeffrey Kunze

    I’ll tell you what happened.
    Pacquin was fucking Matt Damon and Ruffalo was clearly jealous about it, which completely ruined the shoot.

  • http://actionman-nickspix.blogspot.com/ actionman

    Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me is a small masterpiece so I look forward to anything from him in the future.

  • gradystiles

    New Line has now officially been folded into Warner Bros. I’m sure Nikki Finke will try to claim an “Exclusive,” but Perez Hilton’s got the full story.

  • http://christiandivine.com christian

    I read the script and thought it very good.
    Very excited about this.

  • christian

    BTW, my friend worked in a high capacity on the film and she said that there’s just a shitload of filmed material. The script was sprawling.

  • gatsby1040

    ‘sprawling’ is the right word… script was 180 pages, with a very thin narrative. it clearly had lonergan’s sense of rhythm and character. but the film is a hard sell. it’s a digressive, wandering coming of age piece. Smith is right to comment that the script had the makings of an American classic. but it also had the makings of an indulgent mess. my guess is that they ended up with the latter, and have been trying to make sense of it ever since.
    in any case, the script was certainly not depressing or a downer… think You Can Count on Me in the gentleness of its tone, the fondness for its characters. but Paquin’s character (not, incidentally, named Margaret), is manipulative, spoiled and selfish — again, not an easy sell.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    “I for one am scared by this IMDB synopsis, which makes the film sound like a mopey downer about coping with guilt.”
    Says the man who loved Things We Lost in the Fire.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    “Pacquin was fucking Matt Damon and Ruffalo was clearly jealous about it, which completely ruined the shoot.”
    She’s fucking Matt Damon?

  • christian

    Who isn’t fucking Matt Damon these days?

  • Dave

    “I for one am scared by this IMDB synopsis, which makes the film sound like a mopey downer about coping with guilt”
    I’m with Mgmax. Doesn’t this make you part of Gorilla Nation?

  • D.Z.

    Who was the plant who said the Get Smart movie wouldn’t blow?
    http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/getsmart/trailer2/

  • http://lipranzer.blogspot.com lipranzer

    I saw this film at a test screening a couple of years ago (my very first test screening, btw). There is a good movie in there somewhere, and Paquin, Damon and Ruffalo are all very good, as are Matthew Broderick and Allison Janney in small roles, and Longergan’s gift for dialogue and individual scenes remains intact. But it is sprawling, and maybe this is the product of being a test screening, but scenes went on too long, and the story as a whole felt unfocused. Also, there was a whole subplot with Jean Reno that I felt was unnecessary (much as I like him as an actor). As I said, there is a good movie to be found in there somewhere. I hope they find it.
    Oh, and J. Smith-Cameron, who plays Paquin’s mother and is also good, was in the store I work at a few weeks ago, and I asked her about the release date, and she has no idea either, but seemed happy with the movie.

  • p.Vice

    Did you read the test-screening recounts on the IMDB comments page? Just about every one of them calls the film absolutely terrible. Not at all an indication of quality for the high thread-counters, of course, but they certainly indicate this isn’t going to be the most commercial film ever made. I wouldn’t doubt it if Lonnergan has been re-editing to please the suits.
    That synopsis sounds great, though… emotional brutality is my favorite kind.

  • BurmaShave

    D.Z., I dont see how suddenly you think that movie is going to suck just based on that, although you’re the one who thinks AUSTIN POWERS 1 has yet to make a profit.
    I will say though, before it gets tiresome I would like to see at least one straight action trailer take proper advantage of The Hives’ Tick Tick Boom. Am I going to have to settle for the JERICHO ads?

  • kingofnails

    Am I the only one who thinks that after THE SQUID AND THE WHALE (which was, what, four or so years ago?) Paquin is simply too old to play a dishy high school student. Dishy college girl, sure, but not high school.
    They should have cast Jena Malone, Ellen Page, someone like that. Hoping this film is very good and that the delay is worth it.

  • kingofnails

    Am I the only one who thinks that after THE SQUID AND THE WHALE (which was, what, four or so years ago?) Paquin is simply too old to play a dishy high school student? Dishy college girl, sure, but not high school.
    They should have cast Jena Malone, Ellen Page, someone like that. Hoping this film is very good and that the delay is worth it.

  • D.Z.

    Burma: I didn’t say it wasn’t profitable, just that it disappointed.

  • Jay T.

    Sounds………… terrible. And I’m sure it is. When was the last time a GOOD film sat on the shelf that long? I’m sure there are exceptions, but c’mon.

  • http://lipranzer.blogspot.com lipranzer

    “When was the last time a GOOD film sat on the shelf that long?”
    Well, I liked ROMANCE & CIGARETTES, and that sat on the shelf even longer. Also, I wasn’t as much a fan of THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD as Jeff or others here (though I was tired and cranky when I saw it, and I readily admit I need to see it again), but that sat on the shelf for a while as well.

  • MilkMan

    I’d be jealous of anyone fucking Anna Paquin. She is super hot, and anyone who doubts that kind of juvenile observation should rent Buffalo Soldiers, 25th Hour and the aforementioned Squid and Whale. Hot enough for Joaquin, hot enough for Milkman.

  • Mgmax

    “I for one am scared by this IMDB synopsis, which makes the film sound like a mopey downer about coping with guilt.”

    Says the man who loved Things We Lost in the Fire.

  • Mgmax

    “Pacquin was fucking Matt Damon and Ruffalo was clearly jealous about it, which completely ruined the shoot.”

    She’s fucking Matt Damon?

  • Spacelamb

    The best thing about Anna Paquin is that she already has an Oscar so she can do what she wants instead of apearing in glossy middlebrow studio Oscar-bait.